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•  ' NAT/ O HAL  PAPK 

a  MvriotfAL  MotruMEtrr 



b'rom  the  painting  by  Chris  Jorgenson 


Nature's  greatest  example  of  stream  erosion 











IN  offering  the  American  public  a  carefully  studied 
outline  of  its  national  park  system,  I  have  two  prin 
cipal  objects.  The  one  is  to  describe  and  differentiate 
the  national  parks  in  a  manner  which  will  enable  the 
reader  to  appreciate  their  importance,  scope,  meaning, 
beauty,  manifold  uses  and  enormous  value  to  indi 
vidual  and  nation.  The  other  is  to  use  these  parks, 
in  which  Nature  is  writing  in  large  plain  lines  the 
story  of  America's  making,  as  examples  illustrating 
the  several  kinds  of  scenery,  and  what  each  kind 
means  in  terms  of  world  building;  in  other  words,  to 
translate  the  practical  findings  of  science  into  unscien 
tific  phrase  for  the  reader's  increased  profit  and  pleas 
ure,  not  only  in  his  national  parks  but  in  all  other 
scenic  places  great  and  small. 

At  the  outset  I  have  been  confronted  with  a  diffi 
culty  because  of  this  double  objective.  The  role  of 
the  interpreter  is  not  always  welcome.  If  I  write 
what  is  vaguely  known  as  a  "popular"  book,  wise 
men  have  warned  me  that  any  scientific  intrusion, 
however  lightly  and  dramatically  rendered,  will  dis 
please  its  natural  audience.  If  I  write  the  simplest 
of  scientific  books,  I  am  warned  that  a  large  body  of 
warm-blooded,  wholesome,  enthusiastic  Americans, 
the  very  ones  above  all  others  whose  keen  enjoyment 


viii  PREFACE 

I  want  to  double  by  doubling  their  sources  of  pleasure, 
will  have  none  of  it.  The  suggestion  that  I  make  my 
text  "popular"  and  carry  my  "science"  in  an  appen 
dix  I  promptly  rejected,  for  if  I  cannot  give  the  scien 
tific  aspects  of  nature  their  readable  values  in  the 
text,  I  cannot  make  them  worth  an  appendix. 

Now  I  fail  to  share  with  my  advisers  their  poor 
opinion  of  the  taste,  enterprise,  and  intelligence  of  the 
wide-awake  American,  but,  for  the  sake  of  my  message, 
I  yield  in  some  part  to  their  warnings.  Therefore  I 
have  so  presented  my  material  that  the  miscalled, 
and,  I  verily  believe,  badly  slandered  "average  reader," 
may  have  his  "popular"  book  by  omitting  the  note  on 
the  Appreciation  of  Scenery,  and  the  several  notes 
explanatory  of  scenery  which  are  interpolated  between 
groups  of  chapters.  If  it  is  true,  as  I  have  been  told, 
that  the  "average  reader"  would  omit  these  anyway, 
because  it  is  his  habit  to  omit  prefaces  and  notes  of 
every  kind,  then  nothing  has  been  lost. 

he  keen  inquiring  reader,  however,  the  reader 
who  wants  to  know  values  and  to  get,  in  the  eloquent 
phrase  of  the  day,  all  that's  coming  to  him,  will  have 
the  whole  story  by  beginning  the  book  with  the  note 
on  the  Appreciation  of  Scenery,  and  reading  it  consec 
utively,  interpolated  notes  and  all.  As  this  will  in 
volve  less  than  a  score  of  additional  pages,  I  hope  to 
get  the  message  of  the  national  parks  in  terms  of  their 
fullest  enjoyment  before  much  the  greater  part  of  the 
book's  readers. 

The  pleasure  of  writing  this  book  has  many  times 


repaid  its  cost  in  labor,  and  any  helpfulness  it  may 
have  in  advancing  the  popularity  of  our  national 
parks,  in  building  up  the  system's  worth  as  a  national 
economic  asset,  and  in  increasing  the  people's  pleasure 
in  all  scenery  by  helping  them  to  appreciate  their 
greatest  scenery,  will  come  to  me  as  pure  profit.  It 
is  my  earnest  hope  that  this  profit  may  be  large. 

A  similar  spirit  has  actuated  the  very  many  who 
have  helped  me  acquire  the  knowledge  and  experience 
to  produce  it;  the  officials  of  the  National  Park  Ser 
vice,  the  superintendents  and  several  rangers  in  the 
national  parks,  certain  zoologists  of  the  United  States 
Biological  Survey,  the  Director  and  many  geologists 
of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey,  scientific  ex 
perts  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution,  and  professors 
in  several  distinguished  universities.  Many  men  have 
been  patient  and  untiring  in  assistance  and  helpful 
criticism,  and  to  these  I  render  warm  thanks  for  my 
self  and  for  readers  who  may  benefit  by  their  work.  ' 



















X.    YELLOWSTONE,  A  VOLCANIC  INTERLUDE    .   .   .  202 















UMENTS  404 


Zoroaster  from  the  depths  of  the  Grand  Canyon  .    .     .  Frontispiece 


The  Rainbow  Natural  Bridge,  Utah 8 

Middle  fork  of  the  Belly  River,  Glacier  National  Park    ...  12 

General  Grant  Tree 18 

The  Giant  Geyser — greatest  in  the  world 22 

The  Yosemite  Falls — highest  in  the  world     26 

El  Capitan,  survivor  of  the  glaciers 44 

Half  Dome,  Yosemite's  hooded  monk 46 

The  climax  of  Yosemite  National  Park 56 

The  greatest  waterwheel  of  the  Tuolumne      56 

Tehipite  Dome,  guardian  rock  of  the  Tehipite  Valley      ...  82 

East  Vidette  from  a  forest  of  foxtail  pines 84 

Bull  Frog  Lake,  proposed  Roosevelt  National  Park     ....  oo 

Under  a  giant  sequoia 90 

Estes  Park  Plateau,  looking  east      96 

Front  range  of  the  Rockies  from  Bierstadt  Lake 96 

Summit  of  Longs  Peak,  Rocky  Mountain  National  Park    .    .  no 

The  Andrews  Glacier  hangs  from  the  Continental  Divide  .    .  114 

A  Rocky  Mountain  cirque  carved  from  solid  granite   ....  114 

Mount  McKinley,  looming  above  the  great  Alaskan  Range   .  128 

Archdeacon  S  tuck's  party  half-way  up  the  mountain  ....  128 

The  summit  of  Mount  McKinley 128 

In  Lafayette  National  Park 134 




Cross-section  of   Crater  Lake  showing  probable  outline  of 

Mount  Mazama 189 

Cross-section  of  Crater  Lake 191 

Map  of  Hawaii  National  Park 230 


Outline  of  the  Mesa  Verde  Formation 290 

Outlines  of  the  Western  and  Eastern  Temples,  Zion  National 

Monument 356 


Map  of  Yosemite  National  Park,  California. 

Proposed  Roosevelt  National  Park  and  the  Sequoia  and  General 
Grant  National  Parks,  California. 

The  Rocky  Mountain  National  Park,  Colorado. 
Mount  Rainier  National  Park,  Washington. 
Crater  Lake  National  Park,  Oregon. 
Yellowstone  National  Park,  Wyoming. 
Glacier  National  Park,  Montana. 
Mesa  Verde  National  Park,  Colorado. 
Grand  Canyon  National  Park,  Arizona. 
Zion  National  Monument,  Utah. 


The  Book  of  the  National  Parks 


TO  the  average  educated  American,  scenery  is 
a  pleasing  hodge-podge  of  mountains,  valleys, 
plains,  lakes,  and  rivers.  To  him,  the  glacier-hollowed 
valley  of  Yosemite,  the  stream-scooped  abyss  of  the 
Grand  Canyon,  the  volcanic  gulf  of  Crater  Lake,  the 
bristling  granite  core  of  the  Rockies,  and  the  ancient 
ice-carved  shales  of  Glacier  National  Park  all  are  one 
— just  scenery,  magnificent,  incomparable,  meaning 
less.  As  a  people  we  have  been  content  to  wonder, 
not  to  know;  yet  with  scenery,  as  with  all  else,  to 
know  is  to  begin  fully  to  enjoy.  Appreciation  measures 
enjoyment.  And  this  brings  me  to  my  proposition, 
namely,  that  we  shall  not  really  enjoy  our  possession 
of  the  grandest  scenery  in  the  world  until  we  realize 
that  scenery  is  the  written  page  of  the  History  of 
Creation,  and  until  we  learn  to  read  that  page. 

The  national  parks  of  America  include  areas  of 
the  noblest  and  most  diversified  scenic  sublimity  easily 
accessible  in  the  world;  nevertheless  it  is  their  chief est 
glory  that  they  are  among  the  completest  expressions 
of  the  earth's  history.  The  American  people  is  waking 
rapidly  to  the  magnitude  of  its  scenic  possession;  it 
has  yet  to  learn  to  appreciate  it. 



Nevertheless  we  ioVe  scenery.  We  are  a  nation 
of  sightseers.  The  year  before  the  world  war  stopped 
all  things,  we  spent  $286,000,000  in  going  to  Europe. 
That  summer  Switzerland's  receipts  from  the  sale  of 
transportation  and  board  to  persons  coming  from  for 
eign  lands  to  see  her  scenery  was  $100,000,000,  and 
more  than  half,  it  has  been  stated  apparently  with 
authority,  came  from  America.  That  same  year  tour 
ist  travel  became  Canada's  fourth  largest  source  of 
income,  exceeding  in  gross  receipts  even  her  fisheries, 
and  the  greater  part  came  from  the  United  States; 
it  is  a  matter  of  record  that  seven-tenths  of  the  hotel 
registrations  in  the  Canadian  Rockies  were  from  south 
of  the  border.  Had  we  then  known,  as  a  nation,  that 
there  was  just  as  good  scenery  of  its  kind  in  the  United 
States,  and  many  more  kinds,  we  would  have  gone  to 
see  that;  it  is  a  national  trait  to  buy  the  best.  Since 
then,  we  have  discovered  this  important  fact  and  are 
crowding  to  our  national  parks. 

"Is  it  true,"  a  woman  asked  me  at  the  foot  of 
Yosemite  Falls,  "that  this  is  the  highest  unbroken 
waterfall  in  the  world?" 

She  was  the  average  tourist,  met  there  by  chance. 
I  assured  her  that  such  was  the  fact.  I  called  atten 
tion  to  the  apparent  deliberation  of  the  water's  fall, 
a  trick  of  the  senses  resulting  from  failure  to  realize 
height  and  distance. 

"To  think  they  are  the  highest  in  the  world!" 
she  mused. 

I  told  her  that  the  soft  fingers  of  water  had  carved 


this  valley  three  thousand  feet  into  the  solid  granite, 
and  that  ice  had  polished  its  walls,  and  I  estimated  for 
her  the  ages  since  the  Merced  River  flowed  at  the  level 
of  the  cataract's  brink. 

"I've  seen  the  tallest  building  in  the  world,"  she 
replied  dreamily,  "and  the  longest  railroad,  and  the 
largest  lake,  and  the  highest  monument,  and  the  big 
gest  department  store,  and  now  I  see  tlie  highest 
waterfall.  Just  think  of  it !" 

If  one  has  illusions  concerning  the  average  tourist, 
let  him  compare  the  hundreds  who  gape  at  the  paint 
pots  and  geysers  of  Yellowstone  with  the  dozens  who 
exult  in  the  sublimated  glory  of  the  colorful  canyon. 
Or  let  him  listen  to  the  table-talk  of  a  party  returned 
from  Crater  Lake.  Or  let  him  recall  the  statistical 
superlatives  which  made  up  his  friend's  last  letter  from 
the  Grand  Canyon. 

I  am  not  condemning  wonder,  which,  in  its  place, 
is  a  legitimate  and  pleasurable  emotion.  As  a  condi 
ment  to  sharpen  and  accent  an  abounding  sense  of 
beauty  it  has  real  and  abiding  value. 

Love  of  beauty  is  practically  a  universal  passion. 
It  is  that  which  lures  millions  into  the  fields,  valleys, 
woods,  and  mountains  on  every  holiday,  which  crowds 
our  ocean  lanes  and  railroads.  The  fact  that  few  of 
these  rejoicing  millions  are  aware  of  their  own  motive, 
and  that,  strangely  enough,  a  few  even  would  be 
ashamed  to  make  the  admission  if  they  became  aware 
of  it,  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  fact.  It's  a  wise 
man  that  knows  his  own  motives.  The  fact  that  still 


fewer,  whether  aware  or  not  of  the  reason  of  their  hap 
piness,  are  capable  of  making  the  least  expression  of 
it,  also  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  fact.  The  tourist 
woman  whom  I  met  at  the  foot  of  Yosemite  Falls  may 
have  felt  secretly  suffocated  by  the  filmy  grandeur  of 
the  incomparable  spectacle,  notwithstanding  that  she 
was  conscious  of  no  higher  emotion  than  the  cheap 
wonder  of  a  superlative.  The  Grand  Canyon's  rim 
is  the  stillest  crowded  place  I  know.  I've  stood 
among  a  hundred  people  on  a  precipice  and  heard  the 
whir  of  a  bird's  wings  in  the  abyss.  Probably  the 
majority  of  those  silent  gazers  were  suffering  some 
thing  akin  to  pain  at  their  inability  to  give  vent  to 
the  emotions  bursting  within  them. 

I  believe  that  the  statement  can  not  be  success 
fully  challenged  that,  as  a  people,  our  enjoyment  of 
scenery  is  almost  wholly  emotional.  Love  of  beauty 
spiced  by  wonder  is  the  equipment  for  enjoyment  of 
the  average  intelligent  traveller  of  to-day.  Now  add 
to  this  a  more  or  less  equal  part  of  the  intellectual 
pleasure  of  comprehension  and  you  have  the  equip 
ment  of  the  average  intelligent  traveller  of  to-morrow. 
To  hasten  this  to-morrow  is  one  of  the  several  objects 
of  this  book. 

To  see  in  the  carved  and  colorful  depths  of  the 
Grand  Canyon  not  only  the  stupendous  abyss  whose 
terrible  beauty  grips  the  soul,  but  also  to-day's  chap 
ter  in  a  thrilling  story  of  creation  whose  beginning  lay 
untold  centuries  back  in  the  ages,  whose  scene  covers 
three  hundred  thousand  square  miles  of  our  wonder- 


ful  southwest,  whose  actors  include  the  greatest  forces 
of  nature,  whose  tremendous  episodes  shame  the 
imagination  of  Dore,  and  whose  logical  end  invites 
suggestions  before  which  finite  minds  shrink — this  is 
to  come  into  the  presence  of  the  great  spectacle  prop 
erly  equipped  for  its  enjoyment.  But  how  many  who 
see  the  Grand  Canyon  get  more  out  of  it  than  merely 
the  beauty  that  grips  the  soul? 

So  it  is  throughout  the  world  of  scenery.  The 
geologic  story  written  on  the  cliffs  of  Crater  Lake  is 
more  stupendous  even  than  the  glory  of  its  indigo 
bowl.  The  war  of  titanic  forces  described  in  simple 
language  on  the  rocks  of  Glacier  National  Park  is  un 
excelled  in  sublimity  in  the  history  of  mankind.  The 
story  of  Yellowstone's  making  multiplies  many  times 
the  thrill  occasioned  by  its  world-famed  spectacle. 
Even  the  simplest  and  smallest  rock  details  often  tell 
thrilling  incidents  of  prehistoric  times  out  of  which 
the  enlightened  imagination  reconstructs  the  romances 
and  the  tragedies  of  earth's  earlier  days. 

How  eloquent,  for  example,  was  the  small,  water- 
worn  fragment  of  dull  coal  we  found  on  the  limestone 
slope  of  one  of  Glacier's  mountains !  Impossible  com 
panionship  !  The  one  the  product  of  forest,  the  other 
of  submerged  depths.  Instantly  I  glimpsed  the  dis 
tant  age  when  thousands  of  feet  above  the  very  spot 
upon  which  I  stood,  but  then  at  sea  level,  bloomed  a 
Cretaceous  forest,  whose  broken  trunks  and  matted 
foliage  decayed  in  bogs  where  they  slowly  turned  to 
coal;  coal  which,  exposed  and  disintegrated  during 


intervening  ages,  has  long  since — all  but  a  few  small 
fragments  like  this — washed  into  the  headwaters  of 
the  Saskatchewan  to  merge  eventually  in  the  muds  of 
Hudson  Bay.  And  then,  still  dreaming,  my  mind 
leaped  millions  of  years  still  further  back  to  lake  bot 
toms  where,  ten  thousand  feet  below  the  spot  on 
which  I  stood,  gathered  the  pre-Cambrian  ooze  which 
later  hardened  to  this  very  limestone.  From  ooze  a 
score  of  thousand  feet,  a  hundred  million  years,  to 
coal !  And  both  lie  here  together  now  in  my  palm ! 
Filled  thus  with  visions  of  a  perspective  beyond  hu 
man  comprehension,  with  what  multiplied  intensity 
of  interest  I  now  returned  to  the  noble  view  from 
Gable  Mountain ! 

In  pleading  for  a  higher  understanding  of  Nature's 
method  and  accomplishment  as  a  precedent  to  study 
and  observation  of  our  national  parks,  I  seek  enor 
mously  to  enrich  the  enjoyment  not  only  of  these 
supreme  examples  but  of  all  examples  of  world  making. 
The  same  readings  which  will  prepare  you  to  enjoy 
to  the  full  the  message  of  our  national  parks  will  in 
vest  your  neighborhood  hills  at  home,  your  creek  and 
river  and  prairie,  your  vacation  valleys,  the  landscape 
through  your  car  window,  even  your  wayside  ditch, 
with  living  interest.  I  invite  you  to  a  new  and  fas 
cinating  earth,  an  earth  interesting,  vital,  personal, 
beloved,  because  at  last  known  and  understood ! 

It  requires  no  great  study  to  know  and  under 
stand  the  earth  well  enough  for  such  purpose  as  this. 
One  does  not  have  to  dim  his  eyes  with  acres  of  maps, 


or  become  a  plodding  geologist,  or  learn  to  distinguish 
schists  from  granites,  or  to  classify  plants  by  table, 
or  to  call  wild  geese  and  marmots  by  their  Latin 
names.  It  is  true  that  geography,  geology,  physi 
ography,  mineralogy,  botany  and  zoology  must  each 
contribute  their  share  toward  the  condition  of  intelli 
gence  which  will  enable  you  to  realize  appreciation  of 
Nature's  amazing  earth,  but  the  share  of  each  is  so 
small  that  the  problem  will  be  solved,  not  by  exhaus 
tive  study,  but  by  the  selection  of  essential  parts. 
Two  or  three  popular  books  which  interpret  natural 
science  in  perspective  should  pleasurably  accomplish 
your  purpose.  But  once  begun,  I  predict  that  few  will 
fail  to  carry  certain  subjects  beyond  the  mere  essen 
tials,  while  some  will  enter  for  life  into  a  land  of  new 

Let  us,  for  illustration,  consider  for  a  moment 
the  making  of  America.  The  earth,  composed  of 
countless  aggregations  of  matter  drawn  together  from 
the  skies,  whirled  into  a  globe,  settled  into  a  solid  mass 
surrounded  by  an  atmosphere  carrying  water  like  a 
sponge,  has  reached  the  stage  of  development  when 
land  and  sea  have  divided  the  surface  between  them, 
and  successions  of  heat  and  frost,  snow,  ice,  rain,  and 
flood,  are  busy  with  their  ceaseless  carving  of  the  land. 
Already  mountains  are  wearing  down  and  sea  bottoms 
are  building  up  with  their  refuse.  Sediments  carried 
by  the  rivers  are  depositing  in  strata,  which  some  day 
will  harden  into  rock. 

We  are  looking  now  at  the  close  of  the  era  which 


geologists  call  Archean,  because  it  is  ancient  beyond 
knowledge.  A  few  of  its  rocks  are  known,  but  not  well 
enough  for  many  definite  conclusions.  All  the  earth's 
vast  mysterious  past  is  lumped  under  this  title. 

The  definite  history  of  the  earth  begins  with  the 
close  of  the  dim  Archean  era.  It  is  the  lapse  from  then 
till  now,  a  few  hundred  million  years  at  most  out  of 
all  infinity,  which  ever  can  greatly  concern  man,  for 
during  this  tune  were  laid  the  only  rocks  whose  read 
ing  was  assisted  by  the  presence  of  fossils.  During 
this  time  the  continents  attained  their  final  shape, 
the  mountains  rose,  and  valleys,  plains,  and  rivers 
formed  and  re-formed  many  times  before  assuming 
the  passing  forms  which  they  now  show.  During  this 
time  also  life  evolved  from  its  inferred  beginnings  in 
the  late  Archean  to  the  complicated,  finely  developed, 
and  in  man's  case  highly  mentalized  and  spiritualized 
organization  of  To-day. 

Surely  the  geologist's  field  of  labor  is  replete  with 
interest,  inspiration,  even  romance.  But  because  it 
has  become  so  saturated  with  technicality  as  to  be 
come  almost  a  popular  bugaboo,  let  us  attempt  no 
special  study,  but  rather  cull  from  its  voluminous 
records  those  simple  facts  and  perspectives  which  will 
reveal  to  us  this  greatest  of  all  story  books,  our  old 
earth,  as  the  volume  of  enchantment  that  it  really  is. 

With  the  passing  of  the  Archean,  the  earth  had 
not  yet  settled  into  the  perfectly  balanced  sphere 
which  Nature  destined  it  to  be.  In  some  places  the 
rock  was  more  compactly  squeezed  than  in  others, 


and  these  denser  masses  eventually  were  forced  vio 
lently  into  neighbor  masses  which  were  not  so  tightly 
squeezed.  These  movements  far  below  the  surface 
shifted  the  surface  balance  and  became  one  of  many 
complicated  and  little  known  causes  impelling  the 
crust  here  to  slowly  rise  and  there  to  slowly  fall.  Thus 
in  places  sea  bottoms  lifted  above  the  surface  and 
became  land,  while  lands  elsewhere  settled  and  be 
came  seas.  There  are  areas  which  have  alternated 
many  times  between  land  and  sea;  this  is  why  we  find 
limestones  which  were  formed  hi  the  sea  overlying 
shales  which  were  formed  in  fresh  water,  which  in 
turn  overlie  sandstones  which  once  were  beaches — all 
these  now  in  plateaus  thousands  of  feet  above  the 
ocean's  level. 

Sometimes  these  mysterious  internal  forces  lifted 
the  surface  in  long  waves.  Thus  mountain  chains 
and  mountain  systems  were  created.  Often  their 
summits,  worn  down  by  frosts  and  rains,  disclose  the 
core  of  rock  which,  ages  before,  then  hot  and  fluid, 
had  underlain  the  crust  and  bent  it  upward  into  moun 
tain  form.  Now,  cold  and  hard,  these  masses  are  dis 
closed  as  the  granite  of  to-day's  landscape,  or  as  other 
igneous  rocks  of  earth's  interior  which  now  cover 
broad  surface  areas,  mingled  with  the  stratified  or 
water-made  rocks  which  the  surface  only  produces. 
But  this  has  not  always  been  the  fate  of  the  under- 
surface  molten  rocks,  for  sometimes  they  have  burst 
by  volcanic  vents  clear  through  the  crust  of  earth, 
where,  turned  instantly  to  pumice  and  lava  by  release 


from  pressure,  they  build  great  surface  cones,  ccrtfer 
broad  plains  and  fill  basins  and  valleys. 

Thus  were  created  the  three  great  divisions  of  the 
rocks  which  form  the  three  great  divisions  of  scenery, 
the  sediments,  the  granites,  and  the  lavas. 

During  these  changes  in  the  levels  of  enormous 
surface  areas,  the  frosts  and  water  have  been  indus 
triously  working  down  the  elevations  of  the  land. 
Nature  forever  seeks  a  level.  The  snows  of  winter, 
melting  at  midday,  sink  into  the  rocks'  minutest  cracks. 
Expanded  by  the  frosts,  the  imprisoned  water  pries 
open  and  chips  the  surface.  The  rains  of  spring  and 
summer  wash  the  chippings  and  other  debris  into 
rivulets,  which  carry  them  into  mountain  torrents, 
which  rush  them  into  rivers,  which  sweep  them  into 
oceans,  which  deposit  them  for  the  upbuilding  of  the 
bottoms.  Always  the  level!  Thousands  of  square 
miles  of  California  were  built  up  from  ocean's  bottom 
with  sediments  chiselled  from  the  mountains  of  Wy 
oming,  Colorado,  and  Utah,  and  swept  seaward  through 
the  Grand  Canyon. 

These  mills  grind  without  rest  or  pause.  The 
atmosphere  gathers  the  moisture  from  the  sea,  the 
winds  roll  it  in  clouds  to  the  land,  the  mountains  catch 
and  chill  the  clouds,  and  the  resulting  rains  hurry 
back  to  the  sea  in  rivers  bearing  heavy  freights  of  soil. 
Spring,  summer,  autumn,  winter,  day  and  night,  the 
mills  of  Nature  labor  unceasingly  to  produce  her  level. 
If  ever  this  earth  is  really  finished  to  Nature's  liking, 
it  will  be  as  round  and  polished  as  a  billiard  ball. 

From  a  photograph  by  Bailey  Willis 


Very  ancient  shales  and  limestone  fantastically  carved  by  glaciers.     The  illustration  shows 
Glenns  Lake,  Pyramid  Peak,  Chancy  Glacier,  and  Mount  Kipp 


Years  mean  nothing  in  the  computation  of  the 
prehistoric  past.  Who  can  conceive  a  thousand  cen 
turies,  to  say  nothing  of  a  million  years?  Yet  either 
is  inconsiderable  against  the  total  lapse  of  time  even 
from  the  Archean's  close  till  now. 

And  so  geologists  have  devised  an  easier  method 
of  count,  measured  not  by  units  of  time,  but  by  what 
each  phase  of  progress  has  accomplished.  This  meas 
ure  is  set  forth  in  the  accompanying  table,  together 
with  a  conjecture  concerning  the  lapse  of  time  in  terms 
of  years. 

The  most  illuminating  accomplishment  of  the 
table,  however,  is  its  bird's-eye  view  of  the  procession 
of  the  evolution  of  life  from  the  first  inference  of  its 
existence  to  its  climax  of  to-day;  and,  concurrent  with 
this  progress,  its  suggestion  of  the  growth  and  devel 
opment  of  scenic  America.  It  is,  in  effect,  the  table 
of  contents  of  a  volume  whose  thrilling  text  and  stu 
pendous  illustration  are  engraved  immortally  in  the 
rocks;  a  volume  whose  ultimate  secrets  the  scholar 
ship  of  all  time  perhaps  will  never  fully  decipher,  but 
whose  dramatic  outlines  and  many  of  whose  most 
thrilling  incidents  are  open  to  all  at  the  expense  of  a 
little  study  at  home  and  a  little  thoughtful  seeing  in 
the  places  where  the  facts  are  pictured  in  lines  so  big 
and  graphic  that  none  may  miss  their  meanings. 

Man's  colossal  egotism  is  rudely  shaken  before  the 
Procession  of  the  Ages.  Aghast,  he  discovers  that  the 
billions  of  years  which  have  wrought  this  earth  from 
star  dust  were  not  merely  God's  laborious  preparation 


H  u 






s  . 








<u  'C  g 

S  U8 

S     O  be 




^.S  'ats 
^  1.5 

ce  of 



^  S 



ca  a 




-s  ^ 




first  life  whicl 
pods  and  alga 



fossils  foun 
,lly  formed 







of  a  habitation  fit  for  so  admirable  an  occupant;  that 
man,  on  the  contrary,  is  nothing  more  or  less  than  the 
present  master  tenant  of  earth,  the  highest  type  of 
hundreds  of  millions  of  years  of  succeeding  tenants 
only  because  he  is  the  latest  in  evolution. 

Who  can  safely  declare  that  the  day  will  not  come 
when  a  new  Yellowstone,  hurled  from  reopened  vol 
canoes,  shall  found  itself  upon  the  buried  ruin  of  the 
present  Yellowstone;  when  the  present  Sierra  shall 
have  disappeared  into  the  Pacific  and  the  deserts  of 
the  Great  Basin  become  the  gardens  of  the  hemi 
sphere;  when  a  new  Rocky  Mountain  system  shall 
have  grown  upon  the  eroded  and  dissipated  granites 
of  the  present;  when  shallow  seas  shall  join  anew  Hud 
son  Bay  with  the  Gulf  of  Mexico;  when  a  new  and 
lofty  Appalachian  Range  shall  replace  the  rounded 
summits  of  to-day;  when  a  race  of  beings  as  superior 
to  man,  intellectually  and  spiritually,  as  man  is  supe 
rior  to  the  ape,  shall  endeavor  to  reconstruct  a  picture 


The  general  assumption  of  modern  geologists  is  that  a  hundred  million 
years  have  elapsed  since  the  close  of  the  Archean  period;  at  least  this  is 
a  round  number,  convenient  for  thinking  and  discussion.  The  recent 
tendency  has  been  greatly  to  increase  conceptions  of  geologic  time  over 
the  highly  conservative  estimates  of  a  few  years  ago,  and  a  strong  disposition 
is  shown  to  regard  the  Algonkian  period  as  one  of  very  great  length,  ex 
tremists  even  suggesting  that  it  may  have  equalled  all  time  since.  For  the 
purposes  of  this  popular  book,  then,  let  us  conceive  that  the  earth  has 
existed  for  a  hundred  million  years  since  Archean  times,  and  that  one-third 
of  this  was  Algonkian;  and  let  us  apportion  the  two- thirds  remaining 
among  succeeding  eras  in  the  average  of  the  proportions  adopted  by  Pro 
fessor  Joseph  Barrell  of  Yale  University,  whose  recent  speculations  upon 
geologic  time  have  attracted  wide  attention. 


of  man  from  the  occasional  remnants  which  floods 
may  wash  into  view? 

Fantastic,  you  may  say.  It  is  fantastic.  So  far 
as  I  know  there  exists  not  one  fact  upon  which  definite 
predictions  such  as  these  may  be  based.  But  also 
there  exists  not  one  fact  which  warrants  specific  denial 
of  predictions  such  as  these.  And  if  any  inference 
whatever  may  be  made  from  earth's  history  it  is  the 
inevitable  inference  that  the  period  in  which  man 
lives  is  merely  one  step  in  an  evolution  of  matter, 
mind  and  spirit  which  looks  forward  to  changes  as 
mighty  or  mightier  than  those  I  have  suggested. 

With  so  inspiring  an  outline,  the  study  to  which 
I  invite  you  can  be  nothing  but  pleasurable.  Space 
does  not  permit  the  development  of  the  theme  in  the 
pages  which  follow,  but  the  book  will  have  failed  if  it 
does  not,  incidental  to  its  main  purposes,  entangle  the 
reader  in  the  charm  of  America's  adventurous  past. 


THE  National  Parks  of  the  United  States  are 
areas  of  supreme  scenic  splendor  or  other  unique 
quality  which  Congress  has  set  apart  for  the  pleasure 
and  benefit  of  the  people.  At  this  writing  they  num 
ber  eighteen,  sixteen  of  which  lie  within  the  boun 
daries  of  the  United  States  and  are  reached  by  rail 
and  road.  Those  of  greater  importance  have  excel 
lent  roads,  good  trails,  and  hotels  or  hotel  camps,  or 
both,  for  the  accommodation  of  visitors;  also  public 
camp  grounds  where  visitors  may  pitch  their  own 
tents.  Outside  the  United  States  there  are  two  na 
tional  parks,  one  enclosing  three  celebrated  volcanic 
craters,  the  other  conserving  the  loftiest  mountain  on 
the  continent. 

The  starting  point  for  any  consideration  of  our 
national  parks  necessarily  is  the  recently  realized  fact 
of  their  supremacy  in  world  scenery.  It  was  the  sen 
sational  force  of  this  realization  which  intensely  at 
tracted  public  attention  at  the  outset  of  the  new 
movement;  many  thousands  hastened  to  see  these 
wonders,  and  their  reports  spread  the  tidings  through 
out  the  land  and  gave  the  movement  its  increasing 



The  simple  facts  are  these: 

The  Swiss  Alps,  except  for  several  unmatchable 
individual  features,  are  excelled  in  beauty,  sublimity 
and  variety  by  several  of  our  own  national  parks,  and 
these  same  parks  possess  other  distinguished  individual 
features  unrepresented  in  kind  or  splendor  in  the  Alps. 

The  Canadian  Rockies  are  more  than  matched  in 
rich  coloring  by  our  Glacier  National  Park.  Glacier 
is  the  Canadian  Rockies  done  in  Grand  Canyon 
colors.  It  has  no  peer. 

The  Yellowstone  outranks  by  far  any  similar  vol 
canic  area  in  the  world.  It  contains  more  and  greater 
geysers  than  all  the  rest  of  the  world  together;  the 
next  in  rank  are  divided  between  Iceland  and  New 
Zealand.  Its  famous  canyon  is  alone  of  its  quality  of 
beauty.  Except  for  portions  of  the  African  jungle, 
the  Yellowstone  is  probably  the  most  populated  wild 
animal  area  in  the  world,  and  its  wild  animals  are 
comparatively  fearless,  even  sometimes  friendly. 

Mount  Rainier  has  a  single-peak  glacier  system 
whose  equal  has  not  yet  been  discovered.  Twenty- 
eight  living  glaciers,  some  of  them  very  large,  spread, 
octopus-like,  from  its  centre.  It  is  four  hours  by 
rail  or  motor  from  Tacoma. 

Crater  Lake  is  the  deepest  and  bluest  accessible 
lake  in  the  world,  occupying  the  hole  left  after  one  of 
our  largest  volcanoes  had  slipped  back  into  earth's 
interior  through  its  own  rim. 

Yosemite  possesses  a  valley  whose  compelling 
beauty  the  world  acknowledges  as  supreme.  The 

It  has  a  National  Park  all  to  itself 


valley  is  the  centre  of  eleven  hundred  square  miles  of 
high  altitude  wilderness. 

The  Sequoia  contains  more  than  a  million  sequoia 
trees,  twelve  thousand  of  which  are  more  than  ten 
feet  in  diameter,  and  some  of  which  are  the  largest 
and  oldest  living  things  in  the  wide  world. 

The  Grand  Canyon  of  Arizona  is  by  far  the 
hugest  and  noblest  example  of  erosion  in  the  world. 
It  is  gorgeously  carved  and  colored.  In  sheer  sub 
limity  it  offers  an  unequalled  spectacle. 

Mount  McKinley  stands  more  than  20,000  feet 
above  sea  level,  and  17,000  feet  above  the  surrounding 
valleys.  Scenically,  it  is  the  world's  loftiest  moun 
tain,  for  the  monsters  of  the  Andes  and  the  Himalayas 
which  surpass  it  in  altitude  can  be  viewed  closely  only 
from  valleys  from  five  to  ten  thousand  feet  higher 
than  McKinley's  northern  valleys. 

The  Hawaii  National  Park  contains  the  fourth 
greatest  dead  crater  in  the  world,  the  hugest  living 
volcano,  and  the  Kilauea  Lake  of  Fire,  which  is  unique 
and  draws  visitors  from  the  world's  four  quarters. 

These  are  the  principal  features  of  America's 
world  supremacy.  They  are  incidental  to  a  system  of 
scenic  wildernesses  which  in  combined  area  as  well  as 
variety  exceed  the  combined  scenic  wilderness  play 
grounds  of  similar  class  comfortably  accessible  else 
where.  No  wonder,  then,  that  the  American  public 
is  overjoyed  with  its  recently  realized  treasure,  and 
that  the  Government  looks  confidently  to  the  rapid 
development  of  its  new-found  economic  asset,  The 


American  public  has  discovered  America,  and  no  one 
who  knows  the  American  public  doubts  for  a  moment 
what  it  will  do  with  it. 


The  idea  still  widely  obtains  that  our  national 
parks  are  principally  playgrounds.  A  distinguished 
member  of  Congress  recently  asked:  "Why  make  these 
appropriations?  More  people  visited  Rock  Creek 
Park  here  in  the  city  of  Washington  last  Sunday  after 
noon  than  went  to  the  Yosemite  all  last  summer. 
The  country  has  endless  woods  and  mountains  which 
cost  the  Treasury  nothing/' 

This  view  entirely  misses  the  point.  The  na 
tional  parks  are  recreational,  of  course.  So  are  state, 
county  and  city  parks.  So  are  resorts  of  every  kind. 
So  are  the  fields,  the  woods,  the  seashore,  the  open 
country  everywhere.  We  are  living  in  an  open-air 
age.  The  nation  of  outdoor  livers  is  a  nation  of 
power,  initiative,  and  sanity.  I  hope  to  see  the  time 
when  available  State  lands  everywhere,  when  every 
square  mile  from  our  national  forest  reserve,  when 
even  many  private  holdings  are  made  accessible  and 
comfortable,  and  become  habited  with  summer  tramp- 
ers  and  campers.  It  is  the  way  to  individual  power 
and  national  efficiency. 

But  the  national  parks  are  far  more  than  recrea 
tional  areas.  They  are  the  supreme  examples.  They 
are  the  gallery  of  masterpieces.  Here  the  visitor  en 
ters  in  a  holier  spirit.  Here  is  inspiration.  They  are 


also  the  museums  of  the  ages.  Here  nature  is  still 
creating  the  earth  upon  a  scale  so  vast  and  so  plain  that 
even  the  dull  and  the  frivolous  cannot  fail  to  see  and 

This  is  no  distinction  without  a  difference.  The 
difference  is  so  marked  that  few  indeed  even  of  those 
who  visit  our  national  parks  in  a  frivolous  or  merely 
recreational  mood  remain  in  that  mood.  The  spirit 
of  the  great  places  brooks  nothing  short  of  silent  rever 
ence.  I  have  seen  men  unconsciously  lift  their  hats. 
The  mind  strips  itself  of  affairs  as  one  sheds  a  coat. 
It  is  the  hour  of  the  spirit.  One  returns  to  daily  liv 
ing  with  a  springier  step,  a  keener  vision,  and  a  broader 
horizon  for  having  worshipped  at  the  shrine  of  the 


The  Pacific  Coast  Expositions  of  1915  marked  the 
beginning  of  the  nation's  acquaintance  with  its  na 
tional  parks.  In  fact,  they  were  the  occasion,  if  not 
the  cause,  of  the  movement  for  national  parks  devel 
opment  which  found  so  quickly  a  country-wide  re 
sponse,  and  which  is  destined  to  results  of  large  im 
portance  to  individual  and  nation  alike.  Because 
thousands  of  those  whom  the  expositions  were  ex 
pected  to  draw  westward  would  avail  of  the  oppor 
tunity  to  visit  national  parks,  Secretary  Lane,  to 
whom  the  national  parks  suggested  neglected  oppor 
tunity  requiring  business  experience  to  develop,  in 
duced  Stephen  T.  Mather,  a  Chicago  business  man  with 


mountain-top  enthusiasms,  to  undertake  their  prepa 
ration  for  the  unaccustomed  throngs.  Mr.  Mather's 
vision  embraced  a  correlated  system  of  superlative 
scenic  areas  which  should  become  the  familiar  play 
grounds  of  the  whole  American  people,  a  system  which, 
if  organized  and  administered  with  the  efficiency  of  a 
great  business,  should  even  become,  in  time,  the  ren 
dezvous  of  the  sightseers  of  the  world.  He  foresaw 
in  the  national  parks  a  new  and  great  national  eco 
nomic  asset. 

The  educational  and  other  propaganda  by  which 
this  movement  was  presented  to  the  people,  which 
the  writer  had  the  honor  to  plan  and  execute,  won 
rapidly  the  wide  support  of  the  public.  To  me  the 
national  parks  appealed  powerfully  as  the  potential 
museums  and  classrooms  for  the  popular  study  of  the 
natural  forces  which  made,  and  still  are  making, 
America,  and  of  American  fauna  and  flora.  Here 
were  set  forth,  in  fascinating  picture  and  lines  so  plain 
that  none  could  fail  to  read  and  understand,  the  essen 
tials  of  sciences  whose  real  charm  our  rapid  educa 
tional  methods  impart  to  few.  This  book  is  the  logi 
cal  outgrowth  of  a  close  study  of  the  national  parks, 
beginning  with  the  inception  of  the  new  movement, 
from  this  point  of  view. 

How  free  from  the  partisan  considerations  com 
mon  in  governmental  organization  was  the  birth  of  the 
movement  is  shown  by  an  incident  of  Mr.  Mather's 
inauguration  into  his  assistant  secretaryship.  Secre 
tary  Lane  had  seen  him  at  his  desk  and  had  started 

Copyright  by  Haynes,  St.  Paul 

Yellowstone  National  Park 


back  to  his  own  room.  But  he  returned,  looked  in  at 
the  door,  and  asked: 

"Oh,  by  the  way,  Steve,  what  are  your  politics?" 

This  book  considers  our  national  parks  as  they 
line  up  four  years  after  the  beginning  of  this  move 
ment.  It  shows  them  well  started  upon  the  long  road 
to  realization,  with  Congress,  Government,  and  the 
people  united  toward  a  common  end,  with  the  schools 
and  the  universities  interested,  and,  for  the  first  time, 
with  the  railroads,  the  concessioners,  the  motoring  in 
terests,  and  many  of  the  public-spirited  educational 
and  outdoor  associations  all  pulling  together  under  the 
inspiration  of  a  recognized  common  motive. 

Of  course  this  triumph  of  organization,  for  it  is 
no  less,  could  not  have  been  accomplished  nearly  so 
quickly  without  the  assistance  of  the  closing  of  Europe 
by  the  great  war.  Previous  to  1915,  Americans  had 
been  spending  $300,000,000  a  year  in  European 
travel.  Nor  could  it  have  been  accomplished  at  all 
if  investigation  and  comparison  had  not  shown  that 
our  national  parks  excel  in  supreme  scenic  quality 
and  variety  the  combined  scenery  which  is  comfort 
ably  accessible  in  all  the  rest  of  the  world  together. 

To  get  the  situation  at  the  beginning  of  our  book 
into  full  perspective,  it  must  be  recognized  that,  pre 
vious  to  the  beginning  of  our  propaganda  in  1915,  the 
national  parks,  as  such,  scarcely  existed  in  the  public 
consciousness.  Few  Americans  could  name  more  than 
two  or  three  of  the  fourteen  existing  parks.  The 
Yosemite  Valley  and  the  Yellowstone  alone  were  gen- 


erally  known,  but  scarcely  as  national  parks;  most  of 
the  school  geographies  which  mentioned  them  at  all 
ignored  their  national  character.  The  advertising 
folders  of  competing  railroads  were  the  principal 
sources  of  public  knowledge,  for  few  indeed  asked  for 
the  compilation  of  rates  and  charges  which  the  Gov 
ernment  then  sent  in  response  to  inquiries  for  infor 
mation.  The  parks  had  practically  no  administra 
tion.  The  business  necessarily  connected  with  their 
upkeep  and  development  was  done  by  clerks  as  minor 
and  troublesome  details  which  distracted  attention 
from  more  important  duties;  there  was  no  one  clerk 
whose  entire  concern  was  with  the  national  parks. 
The  American  public  still  looked  confidently  upon  the 
Alps  as  the  supreme  scenic  area  in  the  world,  and 
hoped  some  day  to  see  the  Canadian  Rockies. 


Originally  the  motive  in  park-making  had  been 
unalloyed  conservation.  It  is  as  if  Congress  had  said: 
"Let  us  lock  this  up  where  no  one  can  run  away  with 
it;  we  don't  need  it  now,  but  some  day  it  may  be  valu 
able."  That  was  the  instinct  that  led  to  the  reser 
vation  of  the  Hot  Springs  of  Arkansas  in  1832,  the 
first  national  park.  Forty  years  later,  when  official 
investigation  proved  the  truth  of  the  amazing  tales 
of  Yellowstone's  natural  wonders,  it  was  the  instinct 
which  led  to  the  reservation  of  that  largely  unex 
plored  area  as  the  second  national  park.  Seventeen 
years  after  Yellowstone,  when  newspapers  and  sci- 


entific  magazines  recounted  the  ethnological  impor 
tance  of  the  Casa  Grande  Ruin  in  Arizona,  it  resulted 
in  the  creation  of  the  third  national  park,  notwith 
standing  that  the  area  so  conserved  enclosed  less  than 
a  square  mile,  which  contained  nothing  of  the  kind 
and  quality  which  to-day  we  recognize  as  essential 
to  parkhood.  This  closed  what  may  be  regarded  as 
the  initial  period  of  national  parks  conservation.  It 
was  wholly  instinctive;  distinctions,  objectives,  and 
policies  were  undreamed  of. 

Less  than  two  years  after  Casa  Grande,  which, 
by  the  way,  has  recently  been  re-classed  a  national 
monument,  what  may  be  called  the  middle  period 
began  brilliantly  with  the  creation,  in  1890,  of  the 
Yosemite,  the  Sequoia,  and  the  General  Grant  National 
Parks,  all  parks  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word,  and  all 
of  the  first  order  of  scenic  magnificence.  Nine  years 
later  Mount  Rainier  was  added,  and  two  years  after 
that  wonderful  Crater  Lake,  both  meeting  fully  the 
new  standard. 

What  followed  was  human  and  natural.  The 
term  national  park  had  begun  to  mean  something  in 
the  neighborhoods  of  the  parks.  Yellowstone  and 
Yosemite  had  long  been  household  words,  and  the 
introduction  of  other  areas  to  their  distinguished 
company  fired  local  pride  in  neighboring  states.  "  Why 
should  we  not  have  national  parks,  too?"  people 
asked.  Congress,  always  the  reflection  of  the  popular 
will,  and  therefore  not  always  abreast  of  the  moment, 
was  unprepared  with  reasons.  Thus,  during  1903  and 


1904,  there  were  added  to  the  list  areas  in  North 
Dakota,  South  Dakota,  and  Oklahoma,  which  were 
better  fitted  for  State  parks  than  for  association  with 
the  distinguished  company  of  the  nation's  noblest. 

A  reaction  followed  and  resulted  in  what  we  may 
call  the  modern  period.  Far-sighted  men  in  and  out 
of  Congress  began  to  compare  and  look  ahead.  No 
hint  yet  of  the  splendid  destiny  of  our  national  parks, 
now  so  clearly  defined,  entered  the  minds  of  these 
men  at  this  time,  but  ideas  of  selection,  of  develop 
ment  and  utilization  undoubtedly  began  to  take  form. 
At  least,  conservation,  as  such,  ceased  to  become  a 
sole  motive.  Insensibly  Congress,  or  at  least  a  few 
men  of  vision  in  Congress,  began  to  take  account  of 
stock  and  figure  on  realization. 

This  healthy  growth  was  helped  materially  by 
the  public  demand  for  the  improvement  of  several  of 
the  national  parks.  No  thought  of  appropriating 
money  to  improve  the  bathing  facilities  of  Hot  Springs 
had  affected  Congressional  action  for  nearly  half  a 
century;  it  was  enough  that  the  curative  springs  had 
been  saved  from  private  ownership.  Yellowstone 
was  considered  so  altogether  extraordinary,  however, 
that  Congress  began  in  1879  to  appropriate  yearly  for 
its  approach  by  road,  and  for  the  protection  of  its 
springs  and  geysers;  but  this  was  because  Yellow 
stone  appealed  to  the  public  sense  of  wonder.  It 
took  twenty  years  more  for  Congress  to  understand 
that  the  public  sense  of  beauty  was  also  worth  appro  - 
priations.  Yosemite  had  been  a  national  park  for 

From  a  photograph  by  Pillsbury 

From  the  brink  of  the  upper  falls  to  the  foot  of  the  lower  falls  is  almost  half  a  mile 


nine  years  before  it  received  a  dollar,  and  then  only 
when  public  demand  for  roads,  trails,  and  accommoda 
tions  became  insistent. 

But,  once  born,  the  idea  took  root  and  spread. 
It  was  fed  by  the  press  and  magazine  reports  of  the 
glories  of  the  newer  national  parks,  then  attracting 
some  public  attention.  It  helped  discrimination  in 
the  comparison  of  the  minor  parks  created  in  1903 
and  1904  with  the  greater  ones  which  had  preceded. 
The  realization  that  the  parks  must  be  developed  at 
public  expense  sharpened  Congressional  judgment  as 
to  what  areas  should  and  should  not  become  national 

From  that  time  on  Congress  has  made  no  mis 
takes  in  selecting  national  parks.  Mesa  Verde  be 
came  a  park  in  1905,  Glacier  in  1910,  Rocky  Moun 
tain  in  1915,  Hawaii  and  Lassen  Volcanic  in  1916, 
Mount  McKinley  in  1917,  and  Lafayette  and  the 
Grand  Canyon  in  1919.  From  that  time  on  Congress, 
most  conservatively,  it  is  true,  has  backed  its  judg 
ment  with  increasing  appropriations.  And  in  1916  it 
created  the  National  Park  Service,  a  bureau  of  the 
Department  of  the  Interior,  to  administer  them  in 
accordance  with  a  definite  policy. 

The  distinction  between  the  national  forests  and 
the  national  parks  is  essential  to  understanding.  The 
national  forests  constitute  an  enormous  domain  ad- 


ministered  for  the  economic  commercialization  of  the 
nation's  wealth  of  lumber.  Its  forests  are  handled 
scientifically  with  the  object  of  securing  the  largest 
annual  lumber  output  consistent  with  the  proper  con 
servation  of  the  future.  Its  spirit  is  commercial. 
The  spirit  of  national  park  conservation  is  exactly 
opposite.  It  seeks  no  great  territory — only  those  few 
spots  which  are  supreme.  It  aims  to  preserve  nature's 
handiwork  exactly  as  nature  made  it.  No  tree  is  cut 
except  to  make  way  for  road,  trail  or  hotel  to  enable 
the  visitor  to  penetrate  and  live  among  nature's 
secrets.  Hunting  is  excellent  in  some  of  our  national 
forests,  but  there  is  no  game  in  the  national  parks;  in 
these,  wild  animals  are  a  part  of  nature's  exhibits; 
they  are  protected  as  friends. 

It  follows  that  forests  and  parks,  so  different  in 
spirit  and  purpose,  must  be  handled  wholly  separately. 
Even  the  rangers  and  scientific  experts  have  objects 
so  opposite  and  different  that  the  same  individual 
cannot  efficiently  serve  both  purposes.  High  specializa 
tion  in  both  services  is  essential  to  success. 

Another  distinction  which  should  be  made  is  the 
difference  between  a  national  park  and  a  national 
monument.  The  one  is  an  area  of  size  created  by 
Congress  upon  the  assumption  that  it  is  a  supreme 
example  of  its  kind  and  with  the  purpose  of  develop 
ing  it  for  public  occupancy  and  enjoyment.  The  other 
is  made  by  presidential  proclamation  to  conserve  an 
area  or  object  which  is  historically,  ethnologically,  or 
scientifically  important.  Size  is  not  considered,  and 



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development  is  not  contemplated.  The  distinction  is 
often  lost  in  practice.  Casa  Grande  is  essentially  a 
national  monument,  but  had  the  status  of  a  national 
park  until  1918.  The  Grand  Canyon,  from  every 
point  of  view  a  national  park,  was  created  a  national 
monument  and  remained  such  until  1919. 



THE  granite  national  parks  are  Yosemite,  Sequoia, 
including  the  proposed  Roosevelt  Park,  General 
Grant,  Rocky  Mountain,  and  Mount  McKinley.  Gran 
ite,  as  its  name  denotes,  is  granular  in  texture  and  ap 
pearance.  It  is  crystalline,  which  means  that  it  is 
imperfectly  crystallized.  It  is  composed  of  quartz,  feld 
spar,  and  mica  in  varying  proportions,  and  includes 
several  common  varieties  which  mineralogists  dis 
tinguish  scientifically  by  separate  names. 

Because  of  its  great  range  and  abundance,  its 
presence  at  the  core  of  mountain  ranges  where  it  is 
uncovered  by  erosion,  its  attractive  coloring,  its  mas- 
siveness  and  its  vigorous  personality,  it  figures  impor 
tantly  in  scenery  of  magnificence  the  world  over.  In 
color  granite  varies  from  light  gray,  when  it  shines 
like  silver  upon  the  high  summits,  to  warm  rose  or 
dark  gray,  the  reds  depending  upon  the  proportion  of 
feldspar  in  its  composition. 

It  produces  scenic  effects  very  different  indeed 
from  those  resulting  from  volcanic  and  sedimentary 
rocks.  While  it  bulks  hugely  in  the  higher  moun 
tains,  running  to  enormous  rounded  masses  below  the 
level  of  the  glaciers,  and  to  jagged  spires  and  pin 
nacled  walls  upon  the  loftiest  peaks,  it  is  found  also 
in  many  regions  of  hill  and  plain.  It  is  one  of  our 
commonest  American  rocks. 



Much  of  the  loftiest  and  noblest  scenery  of  the 
world  is  wrought  in  granite.  The  Alps,  the  Andes, 
and  the  Himalayas,  all  of  which  are  world-celebrated 
for  their  lofty  grandeur,  are  prevailingly  granite. 
They  abound  in  towering  peaks,  bristling  ridges,  and 
terrifying  precipices.  Their  glacial  cirques  are  girt 
with  fantastically  toothed  and  pinnacled  walls. 

This  is  true  of  all  granite  ranges  which  are  lofty 
enough  to  maintain  glaciers.  These  are,  in  fact,  the 
very  characteristics  of  Alpine,  Andean,  Himalayan, 
Sierran,  Alaskan,  and  Rocky  Mountain  summit  land 
scape.  It  is  why  granite  mountains  are  the  favorites 
of  those  daring  climbers  whose  ambition  is  to  equal 
established  records  and  make  new  ones;  and  this  in 
turn  is  why  some  mountain  neighborhoods  become  so 
much  more  celebrated  than  others  which  are  quite  as 
fine,  or  finer — because,  I  mean,  of  the  publicity  given 
to  this  kind  of  mountain  climbing,  and  of  the  unwar 
ranted  assumption  that  the  mountains  associated  with 
these  exploits  necessarily  excel  others  in  sublimity. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  accident  of  fashion  has  even 
more  to  do  with  the  fame  of  mountains  than  of  men. 

But  by  no  means  all  granite  mountains  are  lofty. 
The  White  Mountains,  for  example,  which  parallel  our 
northeastern  coast,  and  are  far  older  than  the  Rockies 
and  the  Sierra,  are  a  low  granite  range,  with  few  of  the 
characteristics  of  those  mountains  which  lift  their 
heads  among  the  perpetual  snows.  On  the  contrary, 
they  tend  to  rounded  forested  summits  and  knobby 
peaks.  This  results  in  part  from  a  longer  subjection 


of  the  rock  surface  to  the  eroding  influence  of  successive 
frosts  and  rains  than  is  the  case  with  high  ranges  which 
are  perpetually  locked  in  frost.  Besides,  the  ice  sheets 
which  planed  off  the  northern  part  of  the  United  States 
lopped  away  their  highest  parts. 

There  are  also  millions  of  square  miles  of  eroded 
granite  which  are  not  mountains  at  all.  These  tend 
to  rolling  surfaces. 

The  scenic  forms  assumed  by  granite  will  be  better 
appreciated  when  one  understands  how  it  enters  land 
scape.  The  principal  one  of  many  igneous  rocks,  it 
is  liquefied  under  intense  heat  and  afterward  cooled 
under  pressure.  Much  of  the  earth's  crust  was  once 
underlaid  by  granites  in  a  more  or  less  fluid  state. 
When  terrific  internal  pressures  caused  the  earth's 
crust  to  fold  and  make  mountains,  this  liquefied  gran 
ite  invaded  the  folds  and  pushed  close  up  under  the 
highest  elevations.  There  it  cooled.  Thousands  of 
centuries  later,  when  erosion  had  worn  away  these 
mountain  crests,  there  lay  revealed  the  solid  granite 
core  which  frost  and  glacier  have  since  transformed 
into  the  bristling  ramparts  of  to-day's  landscape. 




F  I^HE  first  emotion  inspired  by  the  sight  of  Yosem- 
A  ite  is  surprise.  No  previous  preparation  makes 
the  mind  ready  for  the  actual  revelation.  The  hard 
est  preliminary  reading  and  the  closest  study  of 
photographs,  even  familiarity  with  other  mountains 
as  lofty,  or  loftier,  fail  to  dull  one's  first  astonishment. 

Hard  on  the  heels  of  astonishment  comes  realiza 
tion  of  the  park's  supreme  beauty.  It  is  of  its  own 
kind,  without  comparison,  as  individual  as  that  of  the 
Grand  Canyon  or  the  Glacier  National  Park.  No 
single  visit  will  begin  to  reveal  its  sublimity;  one 
must  go  away  and  return  to  look  again  with  rested 
eyes.  Its  devotees  grow  in  appreciative  enjoyment 
with  repeated  summerings.  Even  John  Muir,  life  stu 
dent,  interpreter,  and  apostle  of  the  Sierra,  confessed 
toward  the  close  of  his  many  years  that  the  Valley's 
quality  of  loveliness  continued  to  surprise  him  at  each 

And  lastly  comes  the  higher  emotion  which  is 
born  of  knowledge.  It  is  only  when  one  reads  in 

these  inspired  rocks  the  stirring  story  of  their  making 



that  pleasure  reaches  its  fulness.  The  added  joy  of 
the  collector  upon  finding  that  the  unsigned  canvas, 
which  he  bought  only  for  its  beauty,  is  the  lost  work 
of  a  great  master,  and  was  associated  with  the  romance 
of  a  famous  past  is  here  duplicated.  Written  history 
never  was  more  romantic  nor  more  graphically  told 
than  that  which  Nature  has  inscribed  upon  the  walls 
of  these  vast  canyons,  domes  and  monoliths  in  a  lan 
guage  which  man  has  learned  to  read. 

The  Yosemite  National  Park  lies  on  the  western 
slope  of  the  Sierra  Nevada  Mountains  in  California, 
nearly  east  of  San  Francisco.  The  snowy  crest  of  the 
Sierra,  bellying  irregularly  eastward  to  a  climax  among 
the  jagged  granites  and  gale-swept  glaciers  of  Mount 
Lyell,  forms  its  eastern  boundary.  From  this  the  park 
slopes  rapidly  thirty  miles  or  more  westward  to  the 
heart  of  the  warm  luxuriant  zone  of  the  giant  sequoias. 
This  slope  includes  in  its  eleven  hundred  and  twenty- 
five  square  miles  some  of  the  highest  scenic  examples 
in  the  wide  gamut  of  Sierra  grandeur.  It  is  impossible 
to  enter  it  without  exaltation  of  spirit,  or  describe  it 
without  superlative. 

A  very  large  proportion  of  Yosemite's  visitors  see 
nothing  more  than  the  Valley,  yet  no  consideration  is 
tenable  which  conceives  the  Valley  as  other  than  a 
small  part  of  the  national  park.  The  two  are  insepara 
ble.  One  does  not  speak  of  knowing  the  Louvre  who 


has  seen  only  the  Venus  de  Milo,  or  St.  Mark's  who  has 
looked  only  upon  its  horses. 

Considered  as  a  whole,  the  park  is  a  sagging  plain 
of  solid  granite,  hung  from  Sierra's  saw-toothed  crest, 
broken  into  divides  and  transverse  mountain  ranges, 
punctured  by  volcanic  summits,  gashed  and  bitten  by 
prehistoric  glaciers,  dotted  near  its  summits  with 
glacial  lakes,  furrowed  by  innumerable  cascading 
streams  which  combine  in  singing  rivers,  which,  in 
turn,  furrow  greater  canyons,  some  of  majestic  depth 
and  grandeur.  It  is  a  land  of  towering  spires  and  am 
bitious  summits,  serrated  cirques,  enormous  isolated 
rock  masses,  rounded  granite  domes,  polished  granite 
pavements,  lofty  precipices,  and  long,  shimmering 

Bare  and  gale-ridden  near  its  crest,  the  park  de 
scends  in  thirty  miles  through  all  the  zones  and  grada 
tions  of  animal  and  vegetable  life  through  which  one 
would  pass  in  travelling  from  the  ice-bound  shores  of 
the  Arctic  Ocean  the  continent's  length  to  Mariposa 
Grove.  Its  tree  sequence  tells  the  story.  Above 
timber-line  there  are  none  but  inch-high  willows  and 
flat,  piney  growths,  mingled  with  tiny  arctic  flowers, 
which  shrink  in  size  with  elevation;  even  the  sheltered 
spots  on  Lyell's  lofty  summit  have  their  colored  lichens, 
and  their  almost  microscopic  bloom.  At  timber-line, 
low,  why  shrubs  interweave  their  branches  to  defy 
the  gales,  merging  lower  down  into  a  tangle  of  many 
stunted  growths,  from  which  spring  twisted  pines  and 
contorted  spruces,  which  the  winds  curve  to  leeward 


or  bend  at  sharp  angles,  or  spread  in  full  development 
as  prostrate  upon  the  ground  as  the  mountain  lion's 
skin  upon  the  home  floor  of  his  slayer. 

Descending  into  the  great  area  of  the  Canadian 
zone,  with  its  thousand  wild  valleys,  its  shining  lakes, 
its  roaring  creeks  and  plunging  rivers,  the  zone  of  the 
angler,  the  hiker,  and  the  camper-out,  we  enter  forests 
of  various  pines,  of  silver  fir,  hemlock,  aged  hump 
backed  juniper,  and  the  species  of  white  pine  which 
Californians  wrongly  call  tamarack. 

This  is  the  paradise  of  outdoor  living;  it  almost 
never  rains  between  June  and  October.  The  forests 
fill  the  valley  floors,  thinning  rapidly  as  they  climb  the 
mountain  slopes;  they  spot  with  pine  green  the  broad, 
shining  plateaus,  rooting  where  they  find  the  soil, 
leaving  unclothed  innumerable  glistening  areas  of 
polished  uncracked  granite;  a  striking  characteristic 
of  Yosemite  uplands.  From  an  altitude  of  seven  or 
eight  thousand  feet,  the  Canadian  zone  forests  begin 
gradually  to  merge  into  the  richer  forests  of  the  Transi 
tion  zone  below.  The  towering  sugar  pine,  the  giant 
yellow  pine,  the  Douglas  fir,  and  a  score  of  decidu 
ous  growths — live  oaks,  bays,  poplars,  dogwoods, 
maples — begin  to  appear  and  become  more  frequent 
with  descent,  until,  two  thousand  feet  or  more  below, 
they  combine  into  the  bright  stupendous  forests  where, 
in  specially  favored  groves,  King  Sequoia  holds  his 
royal  court. 

Wild  flowers,  birds,  and  animals  also  run  the 
gamut  of  the  zones.  Among  the  snows  and  alpine 


flowerets  of  the  summits  are  found  the  ptarmigan 
and  rosy  finch  of  the  Arctic  circle,  and  in  the  summit 
cirques  and  on  the  shores  of  the  glacial  lakes  whistles 
the  mountain  marmot. 

The  richness  and  variety  of  wild  flower  life  in 
all  zones,  each  of  its  characteristic  kind,  astonishes 
the  visitor  new  to  the  American  wilderness.  Every 
meadow  is  ablaze  with  gorgeous  coloring,  every  copse 
and  sunny  hollow,  river  bank  and  rocky  bottom,  be 
comes  painted  in  turn  the  hue  appropriate  to  the 
changing  seasons.  Now  blues  prevail  in  the  kaleido 
scopic  display,  now  pinks,  now  reds,  now  yellows. 
Experience  of  other  national  parks  will  show  that  the 
Yosemite  is  no  exception;  all  are  gardens  of  wild 

The  Yosemite  and  the  Sequoia  are,  however,  the 
exclusive  possessors  among  the  parks  of  a  remarkably 
showy  flowering  plant,  the  brilliant,  rare,  snow-plant. 
So  luring  is  the  red  pillar  which  the  snow-plant  lifts  a 
foot  or  more  above  the  shady  mould,  and  so  easily  is 
it  destroyed,  that,  to  keep  it  from  extinction,  the  gov 
ernment  fines  covetous  visitors  for  every  flower  picked. 

The  birds  are  those  of  California — many,  prolific, 
and  songful.  Ducks  raise  their  summer  broods  fear 
lessly  on  the  lakes.  Geese  visit  from  their  distant 
homes.  Cranes  and  herons  fish  the  streams.  Every 
tree  has  its  soloist,  every  forest  its  grand  chorus.  The 
glades  resound  with  the  tapping  of  woodpeckers.  The 
whirr  of  startled  wings  accompanies  passage  through 
every  wood.  To  one  who  has  lingered  in  the  forests 


to  watch  and  to  listen,  it  is  hard  to  account  for  the 
wide-spread  fabie  that  the  Yosemite  is  birdless.  No 
doubt,  happy  talkative  tourists,  in  companies  and 
regiments,  afoot  and  mounted,  drive  bird  and  beast 
alike  to  silent  cover — and  comment  on  the  lifeless 
forests.  "The  whole  range,  from  foothill  to  summit, 
is  shaken  into  song  every  summer,"  wrote  John  Muir, 
to  whom  birds  were  the  loved  companions  of  a  life 
time  of  Sierra  summers,  "and,  though  low  and  thin  in 
winter,  the  music  never  ceases." 

There  are  two  birds  which  the  unhurried  traveller 
will  soon  know  well.  One  is  the  big,  noisy,  gaudy 
Clark  crow,  whose  swift  flight  and  companionable 
squawk  are  familiar  to  all  who  tour  the  higher  levels. 
The  other  is  the  friendly  camp  robber,  who,  with 
encouragement,  not  only  will  share  your  camp  luncheon, 
but  will  gobble  the  lion's  share. 

Of  the  many  wild  animals,  ranging  in  size  from 
the  great,  powerful,  timid  grizzly  bear,  now  almost 
extinct  here,  whose  Indian  name,  by  the  way,  is  yo- 
semite,  to  the  tiny  shrew  of  the  lowlands,  the  most  fre 
quently  seen  are  the  black  or  brown  bear,  and  the 
deer,  both  of  which,  as  compared  with  their  kind  in 
neighborhoods  where  hunting  is  permitted,  are  unterri- 
fied  if  not  friendly.  Notwithstanding  its  able  pro 
tection,  the  Yosemite  will  need  generations  to  recover 
from  the  hideous  slaughter  which,  in  a  score  or  two  of 
years,  denuded  America  of  her  splendid  heritage  of 
wild  animal  life. 

Of  the  several  carnivora,  the  coyote  alone  is  occa- 



sionally  seen  by  visitors.  Wolves  and  mountain  lions, 
prime  enemies  of  the  deer  and  mountain  sheep,  are 
hard  to  find,  even  when  officially  hunted  in  the  winter 
with  dogs  trained  for  the  purpose. 


The  Yosemite  Valley  is  the  heart  of  the  national 
park.  Not  only  is  it  the  natural  entrance  and  abiding 
place,  the  living-room,  so  to  speak,  the  central  point 
from  winch  all  parts  of  the  park  are  most  comfortably 
accessible;  it  is  also  typical  in  some  sense  of  the 
Sierra  as  a  whole,  and  is  easily  the  most  beautiful 
valley  in  the  world. 

It  is  difficult  to  analyze  the  quality  of  the  Valley's 
beauty.  There  are,  as  Muir  says,  "many  Yosemites" 
in  the  Sierra.  The  Hetch  Hetchy  Valley,  in  the  north 
ern  part  of  the  park,  which  bears  the  same  relation  to 
the  Tuolumne  River  that  the  Yosemite  Valley  bears 
to  the  Merced,  is  scarcely  less  in  size,  richness,  and  the 
height  and  magnificence  of  its  carved  walls.  Scores 
of  other  valleys,  similar  except  for  size,  abound  north 
and  south,  which  are,  scientifically  and  in  Muir's 
meaning,  Yosemites;  that  is,  they  are  pauses  in  their 
rivers*  headlong  rush,  once  lakes,  dug  by  rushing 
waters,  squared  and  polished  by  succeeding  glaciers, 
chiselled  and  ornamented  by  the  frosts  and  rains  which 
preceded  and  followed  the  glaciers.  Muir  is  right,  for 
all  these  are  Yosemites;  but  he  is  wrong,  for  there  is 
only  one  Yosemite. 


It  is  not  the  giant  monoliths  that  establish  the 
incomparable  Valley's  world  supremacy;  Hetch  Hetchy, 
Tehipite,  Kings,  and  others  have  their  giants,  too.  It 
is  not  its  towering,  perpendicular,  serrated  walls; 
the  Sierra  has  elsewhere,  too,  an  overwhelming  exhibit 
of  titanic  granite  carvings.  It  is  not  its  waterfalls, 
though  these  are  the  highest,  by  far,  in  the  world,  nor 
its  broad,  peaceful  bottoms,  nor  its  dramatic  vistas, 
nor  the  cavernous  depths  of  its  tortuous  tributary 
canyons.  Its  secret  is  selection  and  combination. 
Like  all  supremacy,  Yosemite's  lies  in  the  inspired 
proportioning  of  carefully  chosen  elements.  Herein 
is  its  real  wonder,  for  the  more  carefully  one  analyzes 
the  beauty  of  the  Yosemite  Valley,  the  more  difficult 
it  is  to  conceive  its  ensemble  the  chance  of  Nature's 
functioning  rather  than  the  master  product  of  supreme 

Entrance  to  the  Yosemite  by  train  is  from  the 
west,  by  automobile  from  east  and  west  both.  From 
whatever  direction,  the  Valley  is  the  first  objective,  for 
the  hotels  are  there.  It  is  the  Valley,  then,  which  we 
must  see  first.  Nature's  artistic  contrivance  is  ap 
parent  even  hi  the  entrance.  The  train-ride  from  the 
main  line  at  Merced  is  a  constant  up-valley  progress, 
from  a  hot,  treeless  plain  to  the  heart  of  the  great, 
cool  forest.  Expectation  keeps  pace.  Changing  to 
automobile  at  El  Portal,  one  quickly  enters  the  park. 
A  few  miles  of  forest  and  behold — the  Gates  of  the 
Valley.  El  Capitan,  huge,  glistening,  rises  upon  the 
left,  3,000  feet  above  the  valley  floor.  At  first _sight 


its  bulk  almost  appalls.  Opposite  upon  the  right 
Cathedral  Rocks  support  the  Bridal  Veil  Fall,  shim 
mering,  filmy,  a  fairy  thing.  Between  them,  in  the 
distance,  lies  the  unknown. 

Progress  up  the  valley  makes  constantly  for  cli 
max.  Seen  presently  broadside  on,  El  Capitan  bulks 
double,  at  least.  Opposite,  the  valley  bellies.  Cathe 
dral  Rocks  and  the  mediaeval  towers  known  as  Cathe 
dral  Spires,  are  enclosed  in  a  bay,  which  culminates  in 
the  impressive  needle  known  as  Sentinel  Rock — all 
richly  Gothic.  Meantime  the  broadened  valley,  an 
other  strong  contrast  in  perfect  key,  delightfully 
alternates  with  forest  and  meadow,  and  through  it  the 
quiet  Merced  twists  and  doubles  like  a  glistening  snake. 
And  then  we  come  to  the  Three  Brothers. 

Already  some  notion  of  preconception  has  pos 
sessed  the  observer.  It  could  not  have  been  chance 
which  set  off  the  filmy  Bridal  Veil  against  El  Capitan's 
bulk;  which  designed  the  Gothic  climax  of  Sentinel 
Rock;  which  wondrously  proportioned  the  consecutive 
masses  of  the  Three  Brothers;  which  made  El  Capitan, 
now  looked  back  upon  against  a  new  background,  a 
new  and  appropriate  creation,  a  thing  of  brilliance  and 
beauty  instead  of  bulk,  mighty  of  mass,  powerful  in 
shape  and  poise,  yet  mysteriously  delicate  and  unreal. 
As  we  pass  on  with  rapidly  increasing  excitement  to 
the  supreme  climax  at  the  Valley's  head,  where  gather 
together  Glacier  Point,  Yosemite  Falls  of  unbelievable 
height  and  graciousness,  the  Royal  Arches,  manifestly 
a  carving,  the  gulf-like  entrances  of  Tenaya  and  the 

From  a  photograph  by  J .  T.  Boysen 


Looking  eastward  up  the  Yosemite  Valley,  Half  Dome  is  seen  on  the  right  horizon 


Merced  Canyons,  and  above  all,  and  pervading  all, 
the  distinguished  mysterious  personality  of  Half 
Dome,  presiding  priest  of  this  Cathedral  of  Beauty, 
again  there  steals  over  us  the  uneasy  suspicion  of  su 
preme  design.  How  could  Nature  have  happened 
upon  the  perfect  composition,  the  flawless  technique, 
the  divine  inspiration  of  this  masterpiece  of  more  than 
human  art?  Is  it  not,  in  fact,  the  master  temple  of 
the  Master  Architect? 

To  appreciate  the  Valley  we  must  consider  cer 
tain  details.  It  is  eight  miles  long,  and  from  half  a 
mile  to  a  mile  wide.  Once  prehistoric  Lake  Yosemite, 
its  floor  is  as  level  as  a  ball  field,  and  except  for  occa 
sional  meadows,  grandly  forested.  The  sinuous  Mer 
ced  is  forested  to  its  edges  in  its  upper  reaches,  but 
lower  down  occasionally  wanders  through  broad, 
blooming  opens.  The  rock  walls  are  dark  pearl-hued 
granite,  dotted  with  pines  wherever  clefts  or  ledges 
exist  capable  of  supporting  them;  even  El  Capitan 
carries  its  pine-tree  half  way  up  its  smooth  precipice. 
Frequently  the  walls  are  sheer;  they  look  so  every 
where.  The  valley's  altitude  is  4,000  feet.  The  walls 
rise  from  2,000  to  6,000  feet  higher;  the  average  is  a 
little  more  than  3,000  feet  above  the  valley  floor; 
Sentinel  Dome  and  Mount  Watkins  somewhat  exceed 
4,000  feet;  Half  Dome  nearly  attains  5,000  feet; 
Cloud's  Rest  soars  nearly  6,000  feet. 

Two  large  trench-like  canyons  enter  the  valley 
at  its  head,  one  on  either  side  of  Half  Dome.  Tenaya 
Canyon  enters  from  the  east  in  line  with  the  valley, 


looking  as  if  it  were  the  Valley's  upper  reach.  Merced 
Canyon  enters  from  the  south  after  curving  around  the 
east  and  south  sides  of  Half  Dome.  Both  are  ex 
tremely  deep.  Half  Dome's  5,000  feet  form  one  side 
of  each  canyon;  Mount  Watkin's  4,300  feet  form  the 
north  side  of  Tenaya  Canyon,  Glacier  Point's  3,200 
feet  the  west  side  of  Merced  Canyon.  Both  canyons 
are  superbly  wooded  at  their  outlets,  and  lead  rapidly 
up  to  timber-line.  Both  carry  important  trails  from 
the  Valley  floor  to  the  greater  park  above  the  rim. 

To  this  setting  add  the  waterfalls  and  the  scene 
is  complete.  They  are  the  highest  in  the  world. 
Each  is  markedly  individualized;  no  two  resemble 
each  other.  Yet,  with  the  exception  of  the  Vernal 
Fall,  all  have  a  common  note;  all  are  formed  of  com 
paratively  small  streams  dropping  from  great  heights; 
all  are  wind-blown  ribbons  ending  in  clouds  of  mist. 
They  are  so  distributed  that  one  or  more  are  visible 
from  most  parts  of  the  Valley  and  its  surrounding 
rim.  More  than  any  other  feature,  they  differentiate 
and  distinguish  the  Yosemite. 

The  first  of  the  falls  encountered,  Bridal  Veil,  is  a 
perfect  example  of  the  valley  type.  A  small  stream 
pouring  over  a  perpendicular  wall  drops  six  hundred 
and  twenty  feet  into  a  volume  of  mist.  The  mist,  of 
course,  is  the  bridal  veil.  How  much  of  the  water 
reaches  the  bottom  as  water  is  a  matter  of  interesting 
speculation.  This  and  the  condensed  mists  reach  the 
river  through  a  delta  of  five  small  brooks.  As  a  spec 
tacle  the  Bridal  Veil  Fall  is  unsurpassed.  The  deli- 

From  a  photograph  by  J.  T.  Boy  sen 


Rising  nearly  four  thousand  feet  above  the  valley  floor;  the  view  is  up  Tenaya  Canyon  to  the 

High  Sierra 


cacy  of  its  beauty,  even  in  the  high  water  of  early 
summer,  is  unequalled  by  any  waterfall  I  have  seen. 
A  rainbow  frequently  gleams  like  a  colored  rosette  in 
the  massed  chiffon  of  the  bride's  train.  So  pleasing 
are  its  proportions  that  it  is  difficult  to  believe  the  fall 
nearly  four  times  the  height  of  Niagara. 

The  Ribbon  Fall,  directly  opposite  Bridal  Veil,  a 
little  west  of  El  Capitan,  must  be  mentioned  because 
for  a  while  in  early  spring  its  sixteen  hundred  foot  drop 
is  a  spectacle  of  remarkable  grandeur.  It  is  merely 
the  run  of  a  snowfield  which  disappears  in  June. 
Thereafter  a  dark  perpendicular  stain  on  the  cliff 
marks  its  position.  Another  minor  fall,  this  from  the 
south  rim,  is  that  of  Sentinel  Creek.  It  is  seen  from 
the  road  at  the  right  of  Sentinel  Rock,  dropping  five 
hundred  feet  in  one  leap  of  several  which  aggregate 
two  thousand  feet. 

Next  in  progress  come  Yosemite  Falls,  loftiest  by 
far  in  the  world,  a  spectacle  of  sublimity.  These  falls 
divide  with  Half  Dome  the  honors  of  the  upper  Valley. 
The  tremendous  plunge  of  the  Upper  Fall,  and  the 
magnificence  of  the  two  falls  in  apparent  near  continua 
tion  as  seen  from  the  principal  points  of  elevation  on 
the  valley  floor,  form  a  spectacle  of  extraordinary  dis 
tinction.  They  vie  with  Yosemite's  two  great  rocks, 
El  Capitan  and  Half  Dome,  for  leadership  among  the 
individual  scenic  features  of  the  continent. 

The  Upper  Fall  pours  over  the  rim  at  a  point 
nearly  twenty-six  hundred  feet  above  the  valley  floor. 
Its  sheer  drop  is  fourteen  hundred  and  thirty  feet,  the 


equal  of  nine  Niagaras.  Two-fifths  of  a  mile  south  of 
its  foot,  the  Lower  Fall  drops  three  hundred  and  twenty 
feet  more.  From  the  crest  of  the  Upper  Fall  to  the 
foot  of  the  Lower  Fall  lacks  a  little  of  half  a  mile. 
From  the  foot  of  the  Lower  Fall,  after  foaming  down 
the  talus,  Yosemite  Creek,  seeming  a  ridiculously  small 
stream  to  have  produced  so  monstrous  a  spectacle, 
slips  quietly  across  a  half  mile  of  level  valley  to  lose 
itself  in  the  Merced. 

From  the  floods  of  late  May  when  the  thunder  of 
falling  water  fills  the  valley  and  windows  rattle  a  mile 
away,  to  the  October  drought  when  the  slender  ribbon 
is  little  more  than  mist,  the  Upper  Yosemite  Fall  is  a 
thing  of  many  moods  and  infinite  beauty.  Seen  from 
above  and  opposite  at  Glacier  Point,  sideways  and  more 
distantly  from  the  summit  of  Cloud's  Rest,  straight 
on  from  the  valley  floor,  upwards  from  the  foot  of  the 
Lower  Fall,  upwards  again  from  its  own  foot,  and 
downwards  from  the  overhanging  brink  toward  which 
the  creek  idles  carelessly  to  the  very  step-off  of  its 
fearful  leap,  the  Fall  never  loses  for  a  moment  its 
power  to  amaze.  It  draws  and  holds  the  eye  as  the 
magnet  does  the  iron. 

Looking  up  from  below  one  is  fascinated  by  the 
extreme  leisureliness  of  its  motion.  The  water  does 
not  seem  to  fall;  it  floats;  a  pebble  dropped  alongside 
surely  would  reach  bottom  in  half  the  time.  Speculat 
ing  upon  this  appearance,  one  guesses  that  the  air  re 
tards  the  water's  drop,  but  this  idea  is  quickly  dis 
pelled  by  the  observation  that  the  solid  inner  body 


drops  no  faster  than  the  outer  spray.  It  is  long  be 
fore  the  wondering  observer  perceives  that  he  is  the 
victim  of  an  illusion;  that  the  water  falls  normally; 
that  it  appears  to  descend  with  less  than  natural  speed 
only  because  of  the  extreme  height  of  the  fall,  the  eye 
naturally  applying  standards  to  which  it  has  been 
accustomed  in  viewing  falls  of  ordinary  size. 

On  windy  days  the  Upper  Fall  swings  from  the 
brink  like  a  pendulum  of  silver  and  mist.  Back  and 
forth  it  lashes  like  a  horse's  tail.  The  gusts  lop  off 
puffy  clouds  of  mist  which  dissipate  in  air.  Muir  tells 
of  powerful  winter  gales  driving  head  on  against  the 
cliff,  which  break  the  fall  in  its  middle  and  hold  it  in 
suspense.  Once  he  saw  the  wind  double  the  fall  back 
over  its  own  brink.  Muir,  by  the  way,  once  tried  to 
pass  behind  the  Upper  Fall  at  its  foot,  but  was  nearly 

By  contrast  with  the  lofty  temperamental  Upper 
Fall,  the  Lower  Fall  appears  a  smug  and  steady  pigmy. 
In  such  company,  for  both  are  always  seen  together, 
it  is  hard  to  realize  that  the  Lower  Fall  is  twice  the 
height  of  Niagara.  Comparing  Yosemite's  three  most 
conspicuous  features,  these  gigantic  falls  seem  to  ap 
peal  even  more  to  the  imagination  than  to  the  sense 
of  beauty.  El  Capitan,  on  the  other  hand,  suggests 
majesty,  order,  proportion,  and  power;  it  has  its  many 
devotees.  Half  Dome  suggests  mystery;  to  many 
it  symbolizes  worship.  Of  these  three,  Half  Dome 
easily  is  the  most  popular. 

Three  more  will  complete  the  Valley's  list  of  nota- 


ble  waterfalls.  All  of  these  lie  up  the  Merced  Canyon. 
Illilouette,  three  hundred  and  seventy  feet  in  height, 
enters  from  the  west,  a  frothing  fall  of  great  beauty, 
hard  to  see.  Vernal  and  Nevada  Falls  carry  the  Mer 
ced  River  over  steep  steps  in  its  rapid  progress  from  the 
upper  levels  to  the  valley  floor.  The  only  exception 
to  the  valley  type,  Vernal  Fall,  which  some  consider 
the  most  beautiful  of  all,  and  which  certainly  is  the 
prettiest,  is  a  curtain  of  water  three  hundred  and  seven 
teen  feet  high,  and  of  pleasing  breadth.  The  Nevada 
Fall,  three-fifths  of  a  mile  above,  a  majestic  drop  of 
nearly  six  hundred  feet,  shoots  watery  rockets  from 
its  brink.  It  is  full-run,  powerful,  impressive,  and 
highly  individualized.  With  many  it  is  the  favorite 
waterfall  of  Yosemite. 

In  sharp  contrast  with  these  valley  scenes  is  the 
view  from  Glacier  Point  down  into  the  Merced  and 
Tenaya  Canyons,  and  out  over  the  magical  park 
landscape  to  the  snow-capped  mountains  of  the  High 
Sierra.  Two  trails  lead  from  the  valley  up  to  Glacier 
Point,  and  high  upon  the  precipice,  three  thousand 
feet  above  the  valley  floor,  is  a  picturesque  hotel;  it 
is  also  reached  by  road.  Here  one  may  sit  at  ease  on 
shady  porches  and  overlook  one  of  the  most  extended, 
varied  and  romantic  views  in  the  world  of  scenery. 
One  may  take  dinner  on  this  porch  and  have  sunset 
served  with  dessert  and  the  afterglow  with  coffee. 

Here  again  one  is  haunted  by  the  suggestion  of 
artistic  intention,  so  happy  is  the  composition  of  this 
extraordinary  picture.  The  foreground  is  the  dark, 


tremendous  gulf  of  Merced  Canyon,  relieved  by  the 
silver  shimmer  of  Vernal  and  Nevada  Falls.  From 
this  in  middle  distance  rises,  in  the  centre  of  the  can 
vas,  the  looming  tremendous  personality  of  Half 
Dome,  here  seen  in  profile  strongly  suggesting  a  monk 
with  outstretched  arms  blessing  the  valley  at  close  of 
day.  Beyond  stretches  the  horizon  of  famous,  snowy, 
glacier-shrouded  mountains,  golden  in  sunset  glow. 


Every  summer  many  thousands  of  visitors  gather 
in  Yosemite.  Most  of  them,  of  course,  come  tourist- 
fashion,  to  glimpse  it  all  in  a  day  or  two  or  three.  A 
few  thousands  come  for  long  enough  to  taste  most  of 
it,  or  really  to  see  a  little.  Fewer,  but  still  increasingly 
many,  are  those  who  come  to  live  a  little  with  Yosemite; 
among  these  we  find  the  lovers  of  nature,  the  poets, 
the  seers,  the  dreamers,  and  the  students. 

Living  is  very  pleasant  in  the  Yosemite.  The 
freedom  from  storm  during  the  long  season,  the  dry 
warmth  of  the  days  and  the  coldness  of  the  nights,  the 
inspiration  of  the  surroundings  and  the  completeness 
of  the  equipment  for  the  comfort  of  visitors  make  it 
extraordinary  among  mountain  resorts.  There  is  a 
hotel  in  the  Valley,  and  another  upon  the  rim  at 
Glacier  Point.  There  are  three  large  hotel-camps  in 
the  Valley,  where  one  may  have  hotel  comforts  under 
canvas  at  camp  prices.  Two  of  these  hotel-camps 
possess  swimming  pools,  dancing  pavilions,  tennis 


courts  electrically  lighted  for  night  play,  hot  and  cold- 
water  tubs  and  showers,  and  excellent  table  service. 
One  of  the  hotel-camps,  the  largest,  provides  evening 
lectures,  song  services,  and  a  general  atmosphere  sug 
gestive  of  Chatauqua.  Still  a  third  is  for  those  who 
prefer  quiet  retirement  and  the  tradition  of  old- 
fashioned  camp  life. 

Above  the  valley  rim,  besides  the  excellent  hotel 
upon  Glacier  Point,  there  are  at  this  writing  hotel- 
camps  equipped  with  many  hotel  comforts,  including 
baths,  at  such  outlying  points  as  Merced  Lake  and 
Tenaya  Lake;  the  former  centring  the  mountain 
climbing  and  trout  fishing  of  the  stupendous  region  on 
the  southwest  slope  of  the  park,  and  the  latter  the 
key  to  the  entire  magnificent  region  of  the  Tuolumne. 
These  camps  are  reached  by  mountain  trail,  Tenaya 
Lake  Camp  also  by  motor  road.  The  hotel-camp  sys 
tem  is  planned  for  wide  extension  as  growing  demand 
warrants.  There  are  also  hotels  outside  park  limits 
on  the  south  and  west  which  connect  with  the  park 
roads  and  trails. 

The  roads,  by  the  way,  are  fair.  Three  enter  from 
the  west,  centring  at  Yosemite  Village  in  the  Valley; 
one  from  the  south  by  way  of  the  celebrated  Mariposa 
Grove  of  giant  sequoias;  one  from  El  Portal,  terminus 
of  the  Yosemite  Railway;  and  one  from  the  north, 
by  way  of  several  smaller  sequoia  groves,  connecting 
directly  with  the  Tioga  Road. 

Above  the  valley  rim  and  north  of  it,  the  Tioga 
Road  crosses  the  national  park  and  emerges  at  Mono 


Lake  on  the  east,  having  crossed  the  Sierra  over  Tioga 
Pass  on  the  park  boundary.  The  Tioga  Road,  which 
was  built  in  1881,  on  the  site  of  the  Mono  Trail,  to 
connect  a  gold  mine  west  of  what  has  since  become  the 
national  park  with  roads  east  of  the  Sierra,  was  pur 
chased  in  1915  by  patriotic  lovers  of  the  Yosemite  and 
given  to  the  Government.  The  mine  having  soon 
failed,  the  road  had  been  impassable  for  many  years. 
Repaired  with  government  money  it  has  become  the 
principal  highway  of  the  park  and  the  key  to  its  future 
development.  The  increase  in  motor  travel  to  the 
Yosemite  from  all  parts  of  the  country  which  began 
the  summer  following  the  Great  War,  has  made  this 
gift  one  of  growing  importance.  It  affords  a  new 
route  across  the  Sierra. 

But  hotels  and  hotel-camps,  while  accommodat 
ing  the  great  majority  of  visitors,  by  no  means  shelter 
all.  Those  who  camp  out  under  their  own  canvas  are 
likely  to  be  Yosemite's  most  appreciative  devotees. 
The  camping-out  colony  lives  in  riverside  groves  in 
the  upper  reaches  of  the  Valley,  the  Government  assign 
ing  locations  without  charge.  Many  families  make 
permanent  summer  homes  here,  storing  equipment 
between  seasons  in  the  village.  Others  hire  equip 
ment  complete,  from  tents  to  salt-cellars,  on  the  spot. 
Some  who  come  to  the  hotels  finish  the  season  under 
hired  canvas,  and  next  season  come  with  their  own. 
An  increasing  number  come  in  cars,  which  they  keep 
in  local  garages  or  park  near  their  canvas  homes. 

Living  is  easy  and  not  expensive  in  these  camp 


homes.  Mid-day  temperatures  are  seasonable,  and 
nights  are  always  cool.  As  it  does  not  rain,  tents  are 
concessions  to  habit;  many  prefer  sleeping  under  the 
trees.  Markets  in  the  village  supply  meats,  vegetables, 
milk,  bread,  and  groceries  at  prices  regulated  by  Gov 
ernment,  and  deliver  them  at  your  kitchen  tent. 
Shops  furnish  all  other  reasonable  needs.  It  is  not 
camping  out  as  commonly  conceived;  you  are  living 
at  home  on  the  banks  of  the  Merced,  under  the  morn 
ing  shadow  of  Half  Dome,  and  within  sight  of  Yosemite 

From  these  Valley  homes  one  rides  into  the  High 
Sierra  on  horses  hired  from  the  government  conces 
sioner,  tours  to  the  Tuolumne  Meadows  or  the  Mari- 
posa  Grove  by  automobile,  wanders  long  summer  after 
noons  in  the  Valley,  climbs  the  great  rocks  and  domes, 
picnics  by  moonlight  under  the  shimmering  falls  or 
beneath  the  shining  tower  of  El  Capitan,  explores  fa 
mous  fishing  waters  above  the  rim,  and,  on  frivolous 
evenings,  dances  or  looks  at  motion  pictures  at  the 
greater  hotel-camps. 

No  wonder  that  camp  homes  in  the  Yosemite  are 
growing  in  popularity. 


The  trail  traveller  finds  the  trails  the  best  in  the 
country,  and  as  good  as  the  best  in  the  world;  they  are 
the  models  for  the  national  system.  Competent  guides, 
horses,  supplies,  and  equipment  are  easy  to  hire  at 
regulated  prices  in  the  village. 


As  for  the  field,  there  is  none  nobler  or  more  varied 
in  the  world.  There  are  dozens  of  divides,  scores  of 
towering,  snow-splashed  peaks,  hundreds  of  noble  val 
leys  and  shining  lakes,  thousands  of  cascading  streams, 
great  and  small,  from  whose  depths  fighting  trout  rise 
to  the  cast  fly.  There  are  passes  to  be  crossed  which 
carry  one  through  concentric  cirques  of  toothed  gran 
ite  to  ridges  from  which  the  High  Sierra  spreads  before 
the  eye  a  frothing  sea  of  snowy  peaks. 

Such  a  trip  is  that  through  Tuolumne  Meadows 
up  Lyell  Canyon  to  its  headwaters,  over  the  Sierra  at 
Donohue  Pass,  and  up  into  the  birth  chambers  of 
rivers  among  the  summit  glaciers  of  Lyell  and  McClure 
— a  never-to-be-forgotten  journey,  which  may  be  con 
tinued,  if  one  has  time  and  equipment,  down  the  John 
Muir  Trail  to  Mount  Whitney  and  the  Sequoia  Na 
tional  Park.  Or  one  may  return  to  the  park  by  way 
of  Banner  Peak  and  Thousand  Island  Lake,  a  wonder 
spot,  and  thence  north  over  Parker  and  Mono  Passes; 
trips  like  these  produce  views  as  magnificent  as  the 
land  possesses. 

Space  does  not  permit  even  the  suggestion  of  the 
possibilities  to  the  trail  traveller  of  this  wonderland 
above  the  rim.  It  is  the  summer  playground  for  a 

Second  in  magnificence  among  the  park  valleys  is 
Hetch  Hetchy,  the  Yosemite  of  the  north.  Both  are 
broad,  flowered  and  forested  levels  between  lofty  gran 
ite  walls.  Both  are  accented  by  gigantic  rock  per 
sonalities.  Kolana  Rock,  which  guards  Hetch  Hetchy 


at  its  western  gateway  as  El  Capitan  guards  Yosemite, 
must  be  ranked  in  the  same  class.  Were  there  no 
Yosemite  Valley,  Hetch  Hetchy,  though  it  lacks  the 
distinction  which  gives  Yosemite  Valley  its  world 
wide  fame,  would  be  much  better  known  than  it  now 
is — a  statement  also  true  about  other  features  of  the 
national  park. 

Hetch  Hetchy  is  now  being  dammed  below  Ko- 
lana  Rock  to  supply  water  for  San  Francisco.  The 
dam  will  be  hidden  from  common  observation,  and  the 
timber  lands  to  be  flooded  will  be  cut  so  as  to  avoid 
the  unsightliness  usual  with  artificial  reservoirs  in 
forested  areas.  The  reservoir  will  cover  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  bottoms  in  America.  It  will  destroy 
forests  of  luxuriance.  It  will  replace  these  with  a  long 
sinuous  lake,  from  which  sheer  Yosemite-like  granite 
walls  will  rise  abruptly  two  or  three  thousand  feet. 
There  will  be  places  where  the  edges  are  forested. 
Down  into  this  lake  from  the  high  rim  will  cascade 
many  roaring  streams. 

The  long  fight  in  California,  in  the  press  of  the 
whole  country,  and  finally  in  Congress,  between  the 
advocates  of  the  Hetch  Hetchy  reservoir  and  the  de 
fenders  of  the  scenic  wilderness  is  one  of  the  stirring 
episodes  in  the  history  of  our  national  parks.  At  this 
writing,  time  enough  has  not  yet  passed  to  heal  the 
wounds  of  battle,  but  at  least  we  may  look  calmly  at 
what  remains.  One  consideration,  at  least,  affords  a 
little  comfort.  Hetch  Hetchy  was  once,  in  late  pre 
historic  times,  a  natural  lake  of  great  nobility.  The 

From  a  photograph  by  J.  T.  Boy  sen 

Mount  Lyell  and  its  glacier  from  Lyell  Fork 


It  is  fifty  feet  in  height  and  seventy-five  feet  long;  Yosemite  National  Park 


remains  of  Nature's  dam,  not  far  from  the  site  of  man's, 
are  plain  to  the  geologist's  eye.  It  is  possible  that, 
with  care  in  building  the  dam  and  clearing  out  the 
trees  to  be  submerged,  this  restoration  of  one  of  Na 
ture's  noble  features  of  the  past  may  not  work  out  so 
inappropriately  as  once  we  feared. 

The  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Tuolumne,  through 
which  the  river  descends  from  the  level  of  the  Tuo 
lumne  Meadows  almost  five  thousand  feet  to  the  Hetch 
Hetchy  Valley,  possesses  real  Yosemite  grandeur. 
Much  of  this  enormous  drop  occurs  within  a  couple  of 
amazing  miles  west  of  the  California  Falls.  Here  the 
river  slips  down  sharply  tilted  granite  slopes  at  breath 
less  speed,  breaking  into  cascades  and  plunging  over 
waterfalls  at  frequent  intervals.  It  is  a  stupendous 
spectacle  which  few  but  the  hardiest  mountaineers 
saw  previous  to  1918,  so  steep  and  difficult  was  the 
going.  During  that  season  a  trail  was  opened  which 
makes  accessible  to  all  one  of  the  most  extraordinary 
examples  of  plunging  water  in  the  world. 

The  climax  of  this  spectacle  is  the  Waterwheels. 
Granite  obstructions  in  the  bed  of  the  steeply  tilted 
river  throw  solid  arcs  of  frothing  water  fifty  feet  in 
air.  They  occur  near  together,  singly  and  in  groups. 

The  fine  camping  country  south  of  the  Yosemite 
Valley  also  offers  its  sensation.  At  its  most  southern 
point,  the  park  accomplishes  its  forest  climax  in  the 


Mariposa  Grove.  This  group  of  giant  sequoias  (Se 
quoia  washingtoniana)  ranks  next,  in  the  number  and 
magnificence  of  its  trees,  to  the  Giant  Forest  of  the 
Sequoia  National  Park  and  the  General  Grant  grove. 

The  largest  tree  of  the  Mariposa  Grove  is  the 
Grizzly  Giant,  which  has  a  diameter  of  twenty-nine 
feet,  a  circumference  of  sixty-four  feet,  and  a  height 
of  two  hundred  and  four  feet.  One  may  guess  its  age 
from  three  thousand  to  thirty-two  hundred  years.  It 
is  the  third  in  size  and  age  of  living  sequoias;  General 
Sherman,  the  largest  and  oldest,  has  a  diameter  of 
thirty-six  and  a  half  feet,  and  General  Grant  a  diam 
eter  of  thirty-five  feet,  and  neither  of  these,  in  all 
probability,  has  attained  the  age  of  four  thousand 
years.  General  Sherman  grows  in  the  Sequoia  Na 
tional  Park,  seventy  miles  or  more  south  of  Yosemite; 
General  Grant  has  a  little  national  park  of  its  own  a 
few  miles  west  of  Sequoia. 

The  interested  explorer  of  the  Yosemite  has  so 
far  enjoyed  a  wonderfully  varied  sequence  of  sur 
prises.  The  incomparable  valley  with  its  towering 
monoliths  and  extraordinary  waterfalls,  the  High 
Sierra  with  its  glaciers,  serrated  cirques  and  sea  of 
snowy  peaks,  the  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Tuolumne 
with  its  cascades,  rushing  river  and  frothing  Water- 
wheels,  are  but  the  headliners  of  a  long  catalogue  of 
the  unexpected  and  extraordinary.  It  only  remains,  to 
complete. this  new  tale  of  the  Arabian  Nights,  to  make 
one's  first  visit  to  the  sequoias  of  Mariposa  Grove. 
The  first  sight  of  the  calm  tremendous  columns  which 


support  the  lofty  roof  of  this  forest  temple  provokes  a 
new  sensation.  Unconsciously  the  visitor  removes  his 
hat  and  speaks  his  praise  in  whispers. 

The  sequoias  are  considered  at  greater  length  in 
the  chapter  describing  the  Sequoia  National  Park, 
which  was  created  especially  to  conserve  and  exhibit 
more  than  a  million  of  these  most  interesting  of  trees. 
It  will  suffice  here  to  say  that  their  enormous  stems 
are  purplish  red,  that  their  fine,  lace-like  foliage  hangs 
in  splendid  heavy  plumes,  that  their  enormous  limbs 
crook  at  right  angles,  the  lowest  from  a  hundred  to  a 
hundred  and  fifty  feet  above  the  ground,  and  that  all 
other  trees,  even  the  gigantic  sugar  pine  and  Douglas 
fir,  are  dwarfed  in  their  presence.  Several  of  the 
sequoias  of  the  Mariposa  grove  approach  three  hun 
dred  feet  in  height.  The  road  passes  through  the  trunk 

of  one. 


The  human  history  of  the  Yosemite  is  quickly 
told.  The  country  north  of  the  Valley  was  known 
from  early  times  by  explorers  and  trappers  who  used 
the  old  Mono  Indian  Trail,  now  the  Tioga  Road,  which 
crossed  the  divide  over  Mono  Pass.  But,  though  the 
trail  approached  within  a  very  few  miles  of  the  north 
rim  of  the  Yosemite  Valley,  the  valley  was  not  discov 
ered  till  1851,  when  Captain  Boling  of  the  Mariposa 
Battalion,  a  volunteer  organization  for  the  protection 
of  settlers,  entered  it  from  the  west  in  pursuit  of  In 
dians  who  had  raided  mining  settlements  in  the  foot 


These  savages  were  known  as  the  Yosemite  or 
Grizzly  Bear  Indians.  Tenaya,  their  chief,  met  their 
pursuers  on  the  uplands  and  besought  them  to  come 
no  further.  But  Captain  Boling  pushed  on  through 
the  heavy  snows,  and  on  March  21,  entered  the  valley, 
which  proved  to  be  the  Indians'  final  stronghold. 
Their  villages,  however,  were  deserted. 

The  original  inhabitants  of  the  Valley  were  called 
the  Ahwahneechees,  the  Indian  name  for  the  Valley 
being  Ahwahnee,  meaning  a  deep  grassy  canyon.  The 
Ahwahneechees,  previous  to  Captain  Boling's  expedi 
tion,  had  been  decimated  by  war  and  disease.  The 
new  tribe,  the  Yosemites,  or  Grizzly  Bears,  was  made 
up  of  their  remainder,  with  Monos  and  Piutes  added. 

Captain  Boling's  report  of  the  beauty  of  the  val 
ley  having  been  questioned,  he  returned  during  the 
summer  to  prove  his  assertions  to  a  few  doubters. 
Nevertheless,  there  were  no  further  visitors  until  1853, 
when  Robert  B.  Stinson  of  Mariposa  led  in  a  hunt 
ing-party.  Two  years  later  J.  M.  Hutchings,  who  was 
engaged  in  writing  up  the  beauties  of  California  for 
the  California  Magazine,  brought  the  first  tourists; 
the  second,  a  party  of  sixteen,  followed  later  the  same 

Pleasure  travel  to  the  Yosemite  Valley  may  be 
said  to  have  commenced  with  1856,  the  year  the  first 
house  was  built.  This  house  was  enlarged  in  1858  by 
Hite  and  Beardsley  and  used  for  a  hotel.  Sullivan 
and  Cushman  secured  it  for  a  debt  the  following  year, 
and  it  was  operated  in  turn  by  Peck,  Longhurst,  and 


Hutchings  until  1871.  Meantime  J.  C.  Lamon  set 
tled  in  1860,  the  first  actual  resident  of  the  valley,  an 
honor  which  he  did  not  share  with  others  for  four 

The  fame  of  the  valley  spread  over  the  country 
and  in  1864  Congress  granted  to  the  State  of  Cali 
fornia  "the  Cleft  or  Gorge  of  the  Granite  Peak  of 
the  Sierra  Nevada  Mountains"  known  as  the  Yo- 
semite  Valley,  with  the  understanding  that  all  income 
derived  from  it  should  be  spent  for  improving  the 
reservation  or  building  a  road  to  it.  The  Mariposa 
Big  Tree  Grove  was  also  granted  at  the  same  time. 
California  carefully  fulfilled  her  charge.  The  Yo- 
semite  Valley  became  world-famous,  and  in  1890  the 
Yosemite  National  Park  was  created. 


The  Yosemite's  geological  history  is  much  more 
thrilling.  Everyone  who  sees  it  asks,  How  did  Nature 
make  the  Yosemite  Valley?  Was  it  split  by  earth 
convulsions  or  scooped  by  glacier?  Few  ask  what 
part  was  played  by  the  gentle  Merced. 

The  question  of  Yosemite's  making  has  busied 
geologists  from  Professor  Whitney  of  the  University 
of  California,  who  first  studied  the  problem,  down  to 
F.  E.  Matthes,  of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey, 
whose  recent  exhaustive  studies  have  furnished  the 
final  solution.  Professor  Whitney  maintained  that 
glaciers  never  had  entered  the  valley;  he  did  not  even 


consider  water  erosion.  At  one  time  he  held  that  the 
valley  was  simply  a  cleft  or  rent  in  the  earth's  crust. 
At  another  time  he  imagined  it  formed  by  the  sudden 
dropping  back  of  a  large  block  in  the  course  of  the 
convulsions  that  resulted  in  the  uplift  of  the  Sierra 
Nevada.  Galen  Clark,  following  him,  carried  on  his 
idea  of  an  origin  by  force.  Instead  of  the  walls  being 
cleft  apart,  however,  he  imagined  the  explosion  of 
close-set  domes  of  molten  rock  the  riving  power,  but 
conceived  that  ice  and  water  erosion  finished  the  job. 
With  Clarence  King  the  theory  of  glacial  origin  began 
its  long  career.  John  Muir  carried  this  theory  to  its 

Since  the  period  of  Muir's  speculations,  the  tre 
mendous  facts  concerning  the  part  played  by  erosion 
in  the  modification  of  the  earth's  surface  strata  have 
been  developed.  Beginning  with  W.  H.  Turner,  a 
group  of  Yosemite  students  under  the  modern  influence 
worked  upon  the  theory  of  the  stream-cut  valley  modi 
fied  by  glaciers.  The  United  States  Geological  Sur 
vey  then  entered  the  field,  and  Matthes's  minute  in 
vestigations  followed;  the  manuscript  of  his  mono 
graph  has  helped  me  reconstruct  the  dramatic  past. 

The  fact  is  that  the  Yosemite  Valley  was  cut  from 
the  solid  granite  nearly  to  its  present  depth  by  the 
Merced  River;  before  the  glaciers  arrived,  the  river- 
cut  valley  was  twenty-four  hundred  feet  deep  opposite 
El  Capitan,  and  three  thousand  feet  deep  opposite 
Eagle  Peak.  The  valley  was  then  V-shaped,  and  the 
present  waterfalls  were  cascades;  those  which  are  now 


the  Yosemite  Falls  were  eighteen  hundred  feet  deep, 
and  those  of  Sentinel  Creek  were  two  thousand  feet 
deep.  All  this  in  pre-glacial  times. 

Later  on  the  glaciers  of  several  successive  epochs 
greatly  widened  the  valley,  and  measurably  deepened 
it,  making  it  U-shaped.  The  cascades  then  became 

But  none  will  see  the  Yosemite  Valley  and  its 
cavernous  tributary  canyons  without  sympathizing 
a  little  with  the  early  geologists.  It  is  difficult  to 
imagine  a  gash  so  tremendous  cut  into  solid  granite 
by  anything  short  of  force.  One  can  think  of  it  gouged 
by  massive  glaciers,  but  to  imagine  it  cut  by  water  is 
at  first  inconceivable. 

To  comprehend  it  we  must  first  consider  two 
geological  facts.  The  first  is  that  no  dawdling  mod 
ern  Merced  cut  this  chasm,  but  a  torrent  considerably 
bigger;  and  that  this  roaring  river  swept  at  tremendous 
speed  down  a  sharply  tilted  bed,  which  it  gouged 
deeper  and  deeper  by  friction  of  the  enormous  masses 
of  sand  and  granite  fragments  which  it  carried  down 
from  the  High  Sierra.  The  second  geological  fact  is 
that  the  Merced  and  Tenaya  torrents  sand-papered 
the  deepening  beds  of  these  canyons  day  and  night 
for  several  million  years;  which,  when  we  remember 
the  mile-deep  canyons  which  the  Colorado  River  and 
its  confluents  cut  through  a  thousand  or  more  miles 
of  Utah  and  Arizona,  is  not  beyond  human  credence, 
if  not  conception. 

But,  objects  the  sceptical,  the  Merced  couldn't 


keep  always  tilted;  in  time  it  would  cut  down  to  a 
level  and  slow  up;  then  the  sand  and  gravel  it  was 
carrying  would  settle,  and  the  stream  stop  its  digging. 
Again,  if  the  stream-cut  valley  theory  is  correct,  why 
isn't  every  Sierra  canyon  a  Yosemite? 

Let  us  look  for  the  answer  in  the  Sierra's  history. 

The  present  Sierra  Nevada  is  not  the  first  moun 
tain  chain  upon  its  site.  The  granite  which  underlay 
the  folds  of  the  first  Sierra  are  still  disclosed  in  the 
walls  of  the  Yosemite  Valley.  The  granites  which 
underlay  the  second  and  modern  Sierra  are  seen  in  the 
towering  heights  of  the  crest. 

Once  these  mountains  overran  a  large  part  of 
our  present  far  west.  They  formed  a  level  and  very 
broad  and  high  plateau;  or,  more  accurately,  they 
tended  to  form  such  a  plateau,  but  never  quite  suc 
ceeded,  because  its  central  section  kept  caving  and 
sinking  in  some  of  its  parts  as  fast  as  it  lifted  in  others. 
Finally,  in  the  course,  perhaps,  of  some  millions  of 
years,  the  entire  central  section  settled  several  thou 
sand  feet  lower  than  its  eastern  and  western  edges; 
these  edges  it  left  standing  steep  and  high.  This 
sunken  part  is  the  Great  Basin  of  to-day.  The  re 
maining  eastern  edge  is  the  Wasatch  Mountains;  the 
remaining  western  edge  is  the  Sierra.  That  is  why 
the  Sierra's  eastern  front  rises  so  precipitously  from 
the  deserts  of  the  Great  Basin,  while  its  western  side 
slopes  gradually  toward  the  Pacific. 

But  other  crust  changes  accompanied  the  sinking 
of  the  Great  Basin.  The  principal  one  was  the  rise, 


in  a  series  of  upward  movements,  of  the  remaining 
crest  of  the  Sierra.  These  movements  may  have  corre 
sponded  with  the  sinkings  of  the  Great  Basin;  both 
were  due  to  tremendous  internal  readjustments.  And 
of  course,  whenever  the  Sierra  crest  lifted,  it  tilted 
more  sharply  the  whole  granite  block  of  which  it  was 
the  eastern  edge.  These  successive  tiltings  are  what 
kept  the  Merced  and  Tenaya  channels  always  so 
steeply  inclined  that,  for  millions  of  years,  the  streams 
remained  torrents  swift  enough  to  keep  on  sand 
papering  their  beds. 

The  first  of  these  tiltings  occurred  in  that  far  age 
which  geologists  call  the  Cretaceous.  It  was  incon 
siderable,  but  enough  to  hasten  the  speed  of  the  streams 
and  establish  general  outlines  for  all  time.  About  the 
middle  of  the  Tertiary  Period  volcanic  eruptions 
changed  all  things.  Nearly  all  the  valleys  except  the 
Yosemite  became  filled  with  lava.  Even  the  crest  of 
the  range  was  buried  a  thousand  feet  in  one  place. 
This  was  followed  by  a  rise  of  the  Sierra  Crest  a  couple 
of  thousand  feet,  and  of  course  a  much  sharper  tilting 
of  the  western  slopes.  The  Merced  and  Tenaya  Rivers 
must  have  rushed  very  fast  indeed  during  the  many 
thousand  years  that  followed. 

The  most  conservative  estimate  of  the  duration 
of  the  Tertiary  Period  is  four  or  five  million  years,  and 
until  its  close  volcanic  eruptions  continued  to  fill 
valleys  with  lava,  and  the  Great  Basin  kept  settling, 
and  the  crest  of  the  Sierra  went  on  rising;  and  with 
each  lifting  of  the  crest,  the  tilt  of  the  rivers  sharpened 


and  the  speed  of  the  torrents  hastened.  The  canyon 
deepened  during  this  time  from  seven  hundred  to  a 
thousand  feet.  The  Yosemite  was  then  a  mountain 
valley  whose  sloping  sides  were  crossed  by  cascades. 

Then,  about  the  beginning  of  the  Quaternary 
Period,  came  the  biggest  convulsion  of  all.  The  crest 
of  the  Sierra  was  hoisted,  according  to  Matthes's  cal 
culations,  as  much  as  eight  thousand  feet  higher  in 
this  one  series  of  movements,  and  the  whole  Sierra 
block  was  again  tilted,  this  time,  of  course,  enormously. 

For  thousands  of  centuries  following,  the  torrents 
from  Lyell's  and  McClure's  melting  snows  must  have 
descended  at  a  speed  which  tore  boulders  from  their 
anchorages,  ground  rocks  into  sand,  and  savagely 
scraped  and  scooped  the  river  beds.  Armed  with  sharp 
hard-cutting  tools  ripped  from  the  granite  cirques  of 
Sierra's  crest,  these  mad  rivers  must  have  scratched 
and  hewn  deep  and  fast.  And  because  certain  val 
leys,  including  the  Yosemite,  were  never  filled  with 
lava  like  the  rest,  these  grew  ever  deeper  with  the 

The  great  crust  movement  of  the  Quaternary 
Period  was  not  the  last,  by  any  means,  though  it  was 
the  last  of  great  size.  There  were  many  small  ones 
later.  Several  even  have  occurred  within  historic 
times.  On  March  26,  1872,  a  sudden  earth  movement 
left  an  escarpment  twenty-five  feet  high  at  the  foot  of 
the  range  in  Owens  Valley.  The  village  of  Lone  Pine 
was  levelled  by  the  accompanying  earthquake.  John 
Muir,  who  was  in  the  Yosemite  Valley  at  the  time,  de- 


scribes  in  eloquent  phrase  the  accompanying  earth 
quake  which  was  felt  there.  A  small  movement, 
doubtless  of  similar  origin,  started  the  San  Francisco 
fire  in  1906. 

Conditions  created  by  the  great  Quaternary  tilt 
ing  deepened  the  valley  from  eighteen  hundred  feet 
at  its  lower  end  to  twenty-four  hundred  feet  at  its 
upper  end.  It  established  what  must  have  been  an 
unusually  interesting  and  impressive  landscape,  which 
suggested  the  modern  aspect,  but  required  completion 
by  the  glaciers. 

Geologically  speaking,  the  glaciers  were  recent. 
There  were  several  ice  invasions,  produced  probably 
by  the  same  changes  in  climate  which  occasioned  the 
advances  of  the  continental  ice  sheet  east  of  the 
Rockies.  Matthes  describes  them  as  similar  to  the 
northern  glaciers  of  the  Canadian  Rockies  of  to-day. 
For  unknown  thousands  of  years  the  Valley  was  filled 
by  a  glacier  three  or  four  thousand  feet  thick,  and  the 
surrounding  country  was  covered  with  tributary  ice 
fields.  Only  Cloud's  Rest,  Half  Dome,  Sentinel  Dome, 
and  the  crown  of  El  Capitan  emerged  above  this  ice. 
The  glacier  greatly  widened  and  considerably  deepened 
the  valley,  turned  its  slopes  into  perpendiculars,  and 
changed  its  side  cascades  into  waterfalls.  When  it 
receded  it  left  Yosemite  Valley  almost  completed. 

There  followed  a  long  period  of  conditions  not 
unlike  those  of  to-day.  Frosts  chipped  and  scaled  the 
granite  surfaces,  and  rains  carried  away  the  fragments. 
The  valley  bloomed  with  forests  and  wild  flowers. 


Then  came  other  glaciers  and  other  intervening  periods. 
The  last  glacier  advanced  only  to  the  head  of  Bridal 
Veil  Meadow.  When  it  melted  it  left  a  lake  which 
filled  the  Valley  from  wall  to  wall,  three  hundred  feet 
deep.  Finally  the  lake  filled  up  with  soil,  brought 
down  by  the  streams,  and  made  the  floor  of  the  present 

The  centuries  since  have  been  a  period  of  decora 
tion  and  enrichment.  Frost  and  rain  have  done  their 
perfect  work.  The  incomparable  valley  is  complete. 




WHERE  the  lava  billows  of  the  Cascade  Moun 
tains  end  in  northern  California  the  granite 
knobs  of  the  Sierra  begin.  Sharply  differentiated  in 
appearance  and  nature  a  few  miles  further  in  either 
direction,  here  their  terminals  overlap,  and  so  nearly 
merge  that  the  southern  end  of  the  one  and  the  northern 
beginning  of  the  other  are  not  easily  distinguished  by 
the  untrained  eye. 

But  southward  the  Sierra  Nevada,  the  snowy 
saw-toothed  range  of  the  Spaniards,  the  Sierra  of 
modern  American  phrase,  rapidly  acquires  tlie  bulk 
and  towering  height,  the  craggy  cirqued  summits  and 
the  snowy  shoulders  which  have  made  it  celebrated. 
Gathering  grandeur  as  it  sweeps  southward  close  to 
the  western  boundary  of  California,  its  western  slopes 
slashed  deep  with  canyons,  its  granite  peaks  and  domes 
pushing  ever  higher  above  the  scattering  forests  of  its 
middle  zones,  its  eastern  ramparts  dropping  in  preci 
pices  to  the  desert,  it  valiantly  guards  its  sunny  state 
against  the  passage  of  eastern  highways,  and  forces 
hard  engineering  problems  upon  the  builders  of  trans- 



continental  railroads.  Where  it  becomes  the  eastern 
boundary  of  the  Yosemite  National  Park  it  breaks 
into  climaxes  of  magnificence. 

From  this  point  on  the  Sierra  broadens  and  bulks. 
It  throws  out  spurs,  multiplies  paralleling  ranges,  heaps 
peaks  and  ridges  between  gulf-like  canyons  which 
carry  roaring  waters  through  their  forested  trenches. 
Pushing  ever  higher  above  timber-line,  it  breaks  into 
large  lake-bearing  cirques,  sometimes  cirque  within 
cirque,  walled  in  silvery  granite,  hung  with  garlands 
of  snow  and  dripping  with  shining  glaciers.  Ninety 
miles  south  of  Yosemite  it  culminates  in  a  close  group 
ing  of  snow-daubed,  glacier-gouged,  lightning-splin 
tered  peaks,  one  of  which,  Mount  Whitney,  highest 
summit  in  the  United  States,  raises  his  head  just  a 
little  above  his  gigantic  neighbors. 

South  of  Whitney,  the  Sierra  subsides  rapidly  and 
merges  into  the  high  plateaus  and  minor  ranges  of 
southern  California. 

Seventy-five  miles  of  the  crest  of  this  titanic 
range  at  the  climax  of  its  magnificence,  sixty-five  miles 
of  it  north  of  Whitney  and  ten  miles  of  it  south,  con 
stitute  the  western  boundary  of  an  area  of  sixteen 
hundred  square  miles  which  Congress  is  considering 
setting  apart  under  the  title  of  the  Roosevelt  National 
Park;  a  region  so  particularly  characterized  by  rug- 
gedness,  power,  and  unified  purpose  that  it  is  eminently 
fitted  to  serve  as  the  nation's  memorial  to  Theodore 
Roosevelt.  Besides  its  stupendous  mountains,  it  in 
cludes  the  wildest  and  most  exuberant  forested  can- 


yons,  and  the  most  luxuriant  groves  in  the  United 
States,  for  its  boundaries  will  enclose  also  the  present 
Sequoia  National  Park,  in  which  a  million  trunks  of 
the  famous  Sequoia  Washingtoniana  cluster  around  the 
General  Sherman  Tree,  believed  to  be  the  biggest  and 
oldest  living  thing  in  all  the  world. 

Wide  though  its  range  from  bleak  crest  to  warm 
forest,  every  part  of  this  region  is  a  necessary  part  of 
its  whole.  Nature's  subtle  finger  has  so  knitted  each 
succeeding  zone  into  the  fabric  of  its  neighbors  that  it 
would  be  a  vandal's  hand  which  should  arbitrarily  cut 
the  picture  short  of  'the  full  completion  of  its  perfect 
composition.  It  is  one  of  Nature's  masterpieces, 
through  whose  extremest  contrasts  runs  the  common 
note  of  supremacy. 

Whether  or  not,  then,  Congress  insures  its  per 
petuity  and  unified  development,  we  can  consider  it 
scenically  only  as  a  whole. 

Similar  in  kind  to  the  Yosemite  National  Park, 
Roosevelt  is  far  ruggeder  and  more  masterful.  It  will 
be  the  national  park  of  superlatives.  Yet  each  of  these 
similar  areas  is  a  completed  unit  of  striking  individ 
uality.  Yosemite,  taking  its  note  from  its  incompara 
ble  Valley,  never  will  be  equalled  for  sheer  beauty; 
Roosevelt  knows  no  peer  for  exuberance  and  grandeur. 
Yosemite  will  remain  Mecca  for  the  tourist;  Roose 
velt  will  draw  into  its  forest  of  giant  trees,  and  upon 
its  shoulders  of  chiselled  granite,  thousands  of  campers- 
out  and  lovers  of  the  high  trail. 

Joined  near  the  crest  of  the  Sierra  by  the  John 


Muir  Trail,  California's  memorial  to  her  own  prophet 
of  the  out-of-doors,  these  two  national  parks,  so  alike 
and  yet  so  different,  each  striking  surely  its  own  note 
of  sublimity,  are,  in  a  very  real  sense,  parts  of  one  still 
greater  whole;  the  marriage  of  beauty  and  strength. 


The  region  is  roughly  pear-shaped.  A  straight 
line  drawn  from  Pine  Creek  Pass  at  its  northern  end 
to  Sheep  Mountain  on  the  southern  base  line  meas 
ures  sixty-eight  miles;  the  park  is  thirty-six  miles 
wide  at  its  widest,  just  north  of  Mount  Whitney.  Its 
eastern  boundary,  the  crest  of  the  Sierra,  divides  many 
notable  peaks.  From  north  to  south  we  pass,  as  we 
travel  the  John  Muir  Trail,  Mount  Humphreys,  13,972 
feet;  Mount  Darwin,  13,841  feet;  Mount  Winchell, 
13,749  feet;  Split  Mountain,  14,051  feet;  Striped 
Mountain,  13,160  feet;  Mount  Baxter,  13,118  feet; 
Junction  Peak,  13,903  feet;  Mount  Tyndall,  14,025 
feet;  and  Mount  Whitney,  14,501  feet;  supporting 
Whitney  on  the  south  is  Mount  Langley,  14,042  feet; 
all  these  connected  by  splintered  peaks,  granite  ledges, 
and  mountain  masses  scarcely  less  in  altitude. 

Between  the  bristling  crest  of  this  snow-daubed 
eastern  boundary  and  the  park's  western  boundary, 
thousands  of  feet  lower  where  the  forests  begin,  the 
region  roughly  divides  into  parallel  zones.  That  which 
immediately  adjoins  the  crest  upon  its  west  side,  a 
strip  ten  miles  or  more  in  width,  is  known  to  its 


devotees  as  the  High  Sierra.  It  is  a  country  of  tre 
mendous  jagged  peaks,  of  intermediate  pinnacled  walls, 
of  enormous  cirques  holding  remnants  of  once  mighty 
glaciers,  of  great  fields  of  sun-cupped  snow,  of  tur 
quoise  lakes  resting  in  chains  upon  enormous  granite 
steps;  the  whole  gleaming  like  chased  silver  in  the 
noon  sun;  a  magical  land  of  a  thousand  Matterhorns, 
whose  trails  lead  from  temple  to  temple,  so  mighty  of 
size  and  noble  of  design  that  no  mind  less  than  the 
Creator's  could  ever  have  conceived  them. 

The  High  Sierra  has  been  celebrated  for  many 
years  in  the  fast-growing  brotherhood  of  American 
mountain  climbers,  east  as  well  as  west,  many  of  whom 
proclaim  its  marked  superiority  to  all  parts  of  the 
Swiss  Alps  except  the  amazing  neighborhood  of  Mont 
Blanc.  With  the  multiplication  of  trails  and  the  build 
ing  of  shelters  for  the  comfort  of  the  inexperienced, 
the  veriest  amateur  of  city  business  life  will  find  in 
these  mountains  of  perpetual  sunshine  a  satisfaction 
which  is  only  for  the  seasoned  mountaineer  abroad. 

The  zone  adjoining  the  High  Sierra  upon  its  west 
is  one  of  far  wider  range  of  pleasure.  Subsiding  rapidly 
in  elevation,  it  becomes  a  knobbed  and  bouldered  land 
which  includes  timber-line  and  the  thin  forests  of  wind- 
twisted  pines  which  contend  with  the  granite  for  foot 
hold.  It  is  crossed  westward  by  many  lesser  ranges 
buttressing  the  High  Sierra;  from  these  cross  ranges 
many  loftier  peaks  arise,  and  between  them  roar  the 
rivers  whose  thousands  of  contributing  streams  drain 
the  snow-fields  and  the  glaciers  of  the  white  heights. 


Finally,  paralleling  the  western  boundary,  is  the 
narrow  zone  in  which  this  region  meets  and  merges 
with  the  greater  forests  and  the  meadows  beyond  the 
boundary.  Here,  in  the  southwestern  corner,  is  the 
marvellous  warm  forest  in  which  trees  of  many  kinds 
attain  their  maximum  of  size  and  proportion,  and  which 
encloses  a  million  sequoia  trees,  including  the  greatest 
and  oldest  embodiments  of  the  principle  of  life.  This 
extraordinary  forest  was  reserved  in  1890  under  the 
title  of  the  Sequoia  National  Park.  At  the  same  time 
was  created  the  General  Grant  National  Park,  a  reser 
vation  of  four  square  miles  of  similar  forest,  virtually 
a  part  of  it,  but  separated  because  of  an  intervening 
area  of  privately  owned  lands. 

Thus  does  this  region  run  the  gamut  of  supremacy 
from  the  High  Sierra  upon  its  east,  to  the  Giant  Forest 
upon  its  west. 

Of  no  less  distinction  are  its  waters.  Innumera 
ble  lakelets  of  the  High  Sierra,  born  of  the  snows,  over 
flow  in  tiny  streams  which  combine  into  roaring, 
frothing  creeks.  These  in  turn,  augmented  by  the 
drainage  of  the  lofty  tumbled  divides,  combine  into 
powerful  little  rivers.  Four  river  systems  originate 
in  this  region. 

Far  in  the  north  a  lake,  more  than  eleven  thou 
sand  feet  high,  lying  at  the  western  foot  of  Mount 
Goddard,  begins  the  South  Fork  of  the  San  Joaquin 
River,  which  drains  the  park's  northern  area.  Inci 
dentally,  it  has  cut  a  canyon  of  romantic  beauty,  up 
which  the  John  Muir  Trail  finds  its  way  into  the  park. 


The  northern  middle  area  of  the  park  is  drained 
by  the  Middle  and  South  Forks  of  the  Kings  River, 
which  find  their  origins  in  perhaps  forty  miles  of  Sierra's 
crest.  The  drainage  basins  of  these  splendid  streams 
cover  nearly  half  of  the  park's  total  area,  and  include 
some  of  the  biggest,  as  well  as  some  of  the  wildest 
and  most  beautiful  mountain  scenery  in  the  world. 
Bounded  upon  their  west  by  an  arc  of  snowy  moun 
tains,  separated  by  the  gigantic  Monarch  Divide, 
flanked  by  twisted  ranges  and  towering  peaks,  they 
cascade  westward  through  meadows  of  rank  grasses 
and  vividly  colored  wild-flowers,  alternating  with 
steep-sided  gorges  and  canyons  of  sublimity.  Drop 
ping  thousands  of  feet  within  a  few  miles,  they  abound 
in  cascades  and  majestic  falls,  between  which  swift 
rapids  alternate  with  reaches  of  stiller,  but  never  still, 
waters  which  are  the  homes  of  cut-throat  trout.  Each 
of  these  rivers  has  its  canyon  of  distinguished  magnifi 
cence.  The  Tehipite  Valley  of  the  Middle  Fork  and 
the  Kings  River  Canyon  of  the  South  Fork  are  destined 
to  world  celebrity. 

The  southwestern  area  of  the  park  is  drained  by 
five  forks  of  the  beautiful  Kaweah  River.  These 
streams  originate  on  the  north  in  the  divide  of  the 
South  Fork  of  the  Kings  River,  and  on  the  east  in  a 
conspicuously  fine  range  known  as  the  Great  Western 
Divide.  They  wind  through  the  wooded  valleys  of 
the  Sequoia  National  Park.  Upon  their  banks  grow 
the  monsters  of  the  American  forest. 

The  southern  area  is  drained  by  the  Kern  River, 


into  which  flow  the  waters  of  Mount  Whitney  and  his 
giant  neighbors.  The  Kern  Canyon  is  one  of  Roose 
velt's  noblest  expressions.  Flowing  southward  be 
tween  precipitous  walls  three  thousand  feet  and  more 
in  height,  flanked  upon  the  east  by  monsters  of  the 
High  Sierra,  and  on  the  west  by  the  splendid  eleva 
tions  of  the  Great  Western  Divide,  it  is  a  valley  su 
premely  fitted  for  the  highest  realization  of  the  region's 
gifts  of  enjoyment.  From  camps  beside  its  trout- 
haunted  waters,  it  is  a  matter  of  no  difficulty  for  those 
equipped  for  the  trail  to  reach  the  summit  of  Whitney, 
on  the  one  hand,  and  the  Giant  Forest  on  the  other. 

Near  the  southern  boundary  of  the  park,  Golden 
Trout  Creek  enters  the  Kern.  It  originates  at  the 
very  crest  of  the  Sierra,  which  it  follows  closely  for 
many  miles  before  swinging  westward  to  its  outlet. 
In  this  stream  is  found  a  trout  which  appears,  when 
fresh  caught,  as  though  carved  from  gold.  Popularly 
it  is  known  as  the  golden  trout;  its  scientific  name  is 
Salmo  Rooseveltii.  Originally,  no  doubt,  the  color 
evolved  from  the  peculiar  golden  hues  of  the  rocks 
through  which  its  waters  flow.  The  golden  trout  has 
been  transplanted  into  other  Sierra  streams,  in  some 
of  which,  notably  the  open  upper  waters  of  the  Middle 
Fork  of  the  Kings,  it  has  thrived  and  maintained  its 
vivid  hue.  In  sheltered  waters  it  has  apparently  dis 
appeared,  a  fact  which  may  merely  mean  that  its 
color  has  changed  with  environment. 



There  are  many  gateways,  two  by  road,  the  rest 
by  trail.  For  years  to  come,  as  in  the  past,  the  great 
majority  of  visitors  will  enter  through  the  Giant  For 
est  of  the  Sequoia  National  Park  and  through  the  Gen 
eral  Grant  National  Park.  The  traveller  by  rail  will 
find  motor  stages  at  Visalia  for  the  run  into  the  Giant 
Forest,  and  at  Fresno  for  the  General  Grant  National 
Park.  The  motorist  will  find  good  roads  into  both 
from  California's  elaborate  highway  system.  In  both 
the  traveller  will  find  excellent  hotel  camps,  and,  if  his 
purpose  is  to  live  awhile  under  his  private  canvas, 
public  camp  grounds  convenient  to  stores  and  equipped 
with  water  supply  and  even  electric  lights.  Under  the 
gigantic  pines,  firs,  and  ancient  sequoias  of  these  ex 
traordinary  forests,  increasing  thousands  spend  sum 
mer  weeks  and  months. 

From  these  centres  the  lovers  of  the  sublime  take 
saddle-horses  and  pack-trains,  or,  if  they  are  hikers, 
burros  to  carry  their  equipment,  and  follow  the  trails 
to  Kern  Canyon,  or  the  summit  of  Whitney,  or  the 
Kings  River  Canyon,  or  the  Tehipite  Valley,  or  the 
John  Muir  Trail  upon  the  Sierra's  crest.  Many  are 
the  trip  combinations,  the  choice  of  which  depends 
upon  the  time  and  the  strenuousness  of  the  traveller. 
Camping-out  on  trail  in  Roosevelt  is  an  experience 
which  demands  repetition.  Sure  of  clear  weather,  the 
traveller  does  not  bother  with  tents,  but  snuggles  at 
night  in  a  sleeping-bag  under  a  roof  of  spreading  pine. 


But  it  is  possible  to  equip  for  the  trail  elsewhere. 
The  principal  point  upon  the  north  is  the  Yosemite 
National  Park,  where  one  may  provide  himself  with 
horses  and  supplies  for  a  journey  of  any  desired  dura 
tion.  Starting  in  the  Yosemite  Valley,  and  leaving 
the  park  near  the  carved  cirques  of  Mount  Lyell,  the 
traveller  will  find  the  intervening  miles  of  the  John 
Muir  Trail  a  panorama  of  magnificence.  Thousand 
Island  Lake,  reflecting  the  glorious  pyramid  of  Banner 
Peak,  the  Devil's  Postpile,  a  group  of  basaltic  columns, 
far  finer  than  Ireland's  celebrated  Giant's  Causeway, 
the  Mono  Valley,  with  its  ancient  volcano  split  down 
through  the  middle  so  that  all  may  see  its  vent  and 
spreading  crater,  are  merely  the  more  striking  features 
of  a  progress  of  spectacles  to  the  north  entrance  of 
Roosevelt  Park;  this  is  at  the  junction  of  the  South 
Fork  of  the  San  Joaquin  River  and  Piute  Creek.  The 
principal  eastern  gateway  is  Kearsarge  Pass,  on  the 
crest  of  the  Sierra  a  few  miles  north  of  Mount  Whitney. 
The  trail  ascends  from  Independence,  where  one  also 
may  comfortably  outfit. 

These  four  are,  at  this  writing,  the  principal  en 
trance  gates,  each  opening  from  points  at  which  parties 
may  be  sure  of  securing  horses,  equipment,  and  guides. 
But  several  other  trails  enter  from  the  east,  south, 
southwest,  and  west  sides.  All  of  these  in  time  will 
become,  with  development,  well  travelled  trails  into 
the  heart  of  the  great  wilderness. 



Any  description  of  the  glories  of  the  John  Muir 
Trail  from  its  entrance  into  the  park  to  its  climax 
upon  the  summit  of  Mount  Whitney  far  passes  the 
limits  of  a  chapter.  In  time  it  will  inspire  a  literature. 

Approaching  from  Yosemite  through  the  canyon  of 
the  San  Joaquin,  the  traveller  swings  around  the  north 
side  of  Mount  Goddard,  crosses  gorgeous  Muir  Pass, 
and  enters  the  fringe  of  cirques  and  lakes  which  borders 
the  western  edge  of  Sierra's  crest  from  end  to  end. 
Through  this  he  winds  his  way  southward,  skirting 
lakes,  crossing  snowfields,  encircling  templed  cirques, 
plunging  into  canyons,  climbing  divides,  rounding 
gigantic  peaks,  surprising  views  of  sublimity,  mount 
ing  ever  higher  until  he  stands  upon  the  shoulders  of 
Mount  Whitney.  Dismounting  here,  he  scrambles  up 
the  few  hundred  feet  of  stiff  climb  which  places  him 
on  the  summit,  from  which  he  looks  out  north,  west, 
and  south  over  the  most  diversified  high  mountain 
landscape  in  America,  and  eastward  over  the  Sierra 
foothills  to  Death  Valley,  lowest  land  in  the  United 

No  thrilling  Alpine  feat  is  the  ascent  of  our  loftiest 
summit.  But  those  who  want  to  measure  human 
strength  and  skill  in  terms  of  perpendicular  granite 
may  find  among  Whitney's  neighbors  peaks  which 
will  present  harder  problems  than  those  offered  abroad, 
peaks  which  themselves  well  may  become  as  celebrated 
in  future  years. 


The  John  Muir  Trail  is  destined  to  a  fame  and  a 
use  perhaps  many  times  as  great  as  those  men  thought 
who  conceived  it  as  a  memorial  to  a  lover  of  the  trail, 
and  of  all  that  that  implies.  It  will  play  a  distin 
guished  part  in  the  education  of  the  nation  in  the  love 
of  mountains.  It  will  win  artists  to  a  phase  of  the 
sublime  in  America  which  they  have  overlooked.  It 
will  bring  students  to  the  class-rooms  where  Nature 
displays  her  most  tremendous  exhibits. 

Nevertheless,  Roosevelt's  lower  levels  will  draw 
many  times  as  many  devotees  as  will  the  High  Sierra; 
and  these  visitors  will  stay  longer.  It  is  the  valleys 
and  the  canyons  which  will  prove  the  greatest  lure,  for 
here  one  may  camp  leisurely  and  in  entire  comfort,  and 
thence  make  what  trips  he  chooses  into  the  regions  of 
the  peaks  and  the  cirques. 

There  are  literally  thousands  of  canyons  and  of 
many  kinds.  Besides  the  Kern  Canyon  there  are  two 
which  must  rank  with  Yosemite.  In  the  summer  of 
1916  I  travelled  the  length  of  the  park,  as  far  as  the 
Giant  Forest,  with  a  party  led  by  Director  Stephen  T. 
Mather,  of  the  National  Park  Service,  then  Assistant 
to  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  and  was  powerfully 
impressed  with  the  scenic  qualities  of  the  Tehipite 
Valley,  and  the  Kings  River  Canyon,  at  that  time 
little  known. 

Time  will  not  dim  my  memory  of  Tehipite  Dome, 
the  august  valley  and  the  leaping,  singing  river  which 
it  overlooks.  Well  short  of  the  Yosemite  Valley  in 
the  kind  of  beauty  that  plunges  the  observer  into 


silence,  the  Tehipite  Valley  far  excels  it  in  bigness, 
power,  and  majesty.  Lookout  Point  on  the  north  rim, 
a  couple  of  miles  south  of  the  Dome,  gave  us  our  first 
sensation.  Three  thousand  feet  above  the  river,  it 
offered  by  far  the  grandest  valley  view  I  have  looked 
upon,  for  the  rim  view  into  Yosemite  by  comparison 
is  not  so  grand  as  it  is  beautiful. 

The  canyon  revealed  itself  to  the  east  as  far  as 
Mount  Woodworth,  its  lofty  diversified  walls  lifting 
precipitously  from  the  heavy  forests  of  the  floor  and 
sides,  and  yielding  to  still  greater  heights  above. 
Enormous  cliffs  abutted,  Yosemitelike,  at  intervals. 
South  of  us,  directly  across  the  canyon,  rose  the  strenu 
ous  heights  of  the  Monarch  Divide,  Mount  Harring 
ton,  towering  a  thousand  feet  higher  above  the  valley 
floor  than  Clouds  Rest  above  the  Yosemite.  Down 
the  slopes  of  the  Monarch  Divide,  seemingly  from  its 
turreted  summits,  cascaded  many  frothing  streams. 
The  Eagle  Peaks,  Blue  Canyon  Falls,  Silver  Spur, 
the  Gorge  of  Despair,  Lost  Canyon — these  were  some 
of  the  romantic  and  appropriate  titles  we  found  on 
the  Geological  Survey  map. 

And,  close  at  hand,  opposite  Mount  Harrington 
and  just  across  Crown  Creek  Canyon,  rose  mighty 
Tehipite.  We  stood  level  with  its  rounded  glistening 
dome.  The  Tehipite  Dome  is  a  true  Yosemite  feature. 
It  compares  in  height  and  prominence  with  El  Capitan. 
In  fact,  it  stands  higher  above  the  valley  floor  and 
occupies  a  similar  position  at  the  valley's  western  gate. 
It  is  not  so  massive  as  El  Capitan,  and  therefore  not 


so  impressive;  but  it  is  superb.  It  is  better  compared 
with  Half  Dome,  though  again  perhaps  not  so  im 
pressive.  But  it  has  its  own  august  personality,  as 
notably  so  as  either  of  these  world-famed  rocks;  and, 
if  it  stood  in  the  Yosemite,  would  share  with  them  the 
incomparable  valley's  highest  honors. 

Descending  to  the  floor,  the  whole  aspect  of  the 
valley  changed.  Looking  up,  Tehipite  Dome,  now 
outlined  against  the  sky,  and  the  neighboring  abrupt 
castellated  walls,  towered  more  hugely  than  ever. 
We  did  not  need  the  contour  map  to  know  that  some 
of  these  heights  exceeded  Yosemite's.  The  sky-line 
was  fantastically  carved  into  spires  and  domes,  a 
counterpart  in  gigantic  miniature  of  the  Great  Sierra 
of  which  it  was  the  valley  climax.  The  Yosemite 
measure  of  sublimity,  perhaps,  lacked,  but  in  its  place 
was  a  more  rugged  grandeur,  a  certain  suggestion  of 
vastness  and  power  that  I  have  not  seen  elsewhere. 

This  impression  was  strengthened  by  the  floor 
itself,  which  contains  no  suggestion  whatever  of  Yo- 
semite's  exquisiteness.  Instead,  it  offers  rugged  spa 
ciousness.  In  place  of  Yosemite's  peaceful  woods  and 
meadows,  here  were  tangled  giant-studded  thickets 
and  mountainous  masses  of  enormous  broken  talus. 
Instead  of  the  quiet  winding  Merced,  here  was  a  surging, 
smashing,  frothing,  cascading,  roaring  torrent,  several 
times  its  volume,  which  filled  the  valley  with  its 

Once  step  foot  on  the  valley  floor  and  all  thought 
of  comparison  with  Yosemite  vanishes  forever.  This 

From  a  photograph  by  Herbert  W.  Gleason 

It  rises  abruptly  more  than  three  thousand  feet;    proposed  Roosevelt  National  Park 


is  a  different  thing  altogether,  but  a  thing  in  its  own 
way  no  less  superlative.  The  keynote  of  the  Tehipite 
Valley  is  wild  exuberance.  It  thrills  where  Yosemite 
enervates.  Yet  its  temperature  is  quite  as  mild. 

The  Middle  Fork  contains  more  trout  than  any 
other  stream  I  have  fished.  We  found  them  in  pools 
and  riffles  everywhere;  no  water  was  too  white  to 
get  a  rise.  In  the  long,  greenish-white  borders  of  fast 
rapids  they  floated  continually  into  view.  In  five 
minutes'  watching  I  could  count  a  dozen  or  more  such 
appearances  within  a  few  feet  of  water.  They  ran 
from  eight  to  fourteen  inches.  No  doubt  larger  ones 
lay  below.  So  I  got  great  fun  by  picking  my  particular 
trout  and  casting  specially  for  him.  Stop  your  fly's 
motion  and  the  pursuing  fish  instantly  stops,  backs, 
swims  round  the  lure  in  a  tour  of  examination,  and 
disappears.  Start  it  moving  and  he  instantly  reappears 
from  the  white  depth,  where,  no  doubt,  he  has  been 
cautiously  watching.  A  pause  and  a  swift  start  often 
tempted  to  a  strike. 

These  rainbows  of  the  torrents  are  hard  fighters. 
And  many  of  them,  if  ungently  handled,  availed  of 
swift  currents  to  thresh  themselves  free. 

You  must  fish  a  river  to  appreciate  it.  Standing 
on  its  edges,  leaping  from  rock  to  rock,  slipping  waist 
deep  at  times,  wading  recklessly  to  reach  some  pool 
or  eddy  of  special  promise,  searching  the  rapids,  peer 
ing  under  the  alders,  testing  the  pools;  that's  the  way 
to  make  friends  with  a  river.  You  study  its  moods 
and  its  ways  as  those  of  a  mettlesome  horse. 


And  after  a  while  its  spirit  seeps  through  and  finds 
yours.  Its  personality  unveils.  A  sweet  friendliness 
unites  you,  a  sense  of  mutual  understanding.  There 
follows  the  completest  detachment  that  I  know. 
Years  and  the  worries  disappear.  You  and  the  river 
dream  away  the  unnoted  hours. 

Passing  on  from  the  Tehipite  Valley  to  the  Kings 
River  Canyon,  the  approach  to  Granite  Pass  was 
nothing  short  of  magnificent.  We  crossed  a  superb 
cirque  studded  with  lakelets;  we  could  see  the  pass 
ahead  of  us  on  a  fine  snow-crowned  bench.  We 
ascended  the  bench  and  found  ourselves,  not  in  the 
pass,  but  in  the  entrance  to  still  another  cirque,  also 
lake-studded,  a  loftier,  nobler  cirque  encircling  the 
one  below.  Ahead  of  us  upon  another  lofty  bench 
surely  was  the  pass.  Those  inspiring  snow-daubed 
heights  whose  serrated  edges  cut  sharply  into  the  sky 
certainly  marked  the  supreme  summit.  Our  winding 
trail  up  steep,  rocky  ascents  pointed  true;  an  hour's 
toil  would  carry  us  over.  But  the  hour  passed  and 
the  crossing  of  the  shelf  disclosed,  not  the  glowing 
valley  of  the  South  Fork  across  the  pass,  but  still  a 
vaster,  nobler  cirque  above,  sublime  in  Arctic  glory ! 

How  the  vast  glaciers  that  cut  these  titanic  carv 
ings  must  have  swirled  among  these  huge  concentric 
walls,  pouring  over  this  shelf  and  that,  piling  together 
around  these  uplifting  granite  peaks,  concentrating 
combined  effort  upon  this  unyielding  mass  and  that, 
and,  beaten  back,  pouring  down  the  tortuous  main 
channel  with  rendings  and  tearings  unimaginable ! 

From  a  photograph  by  Herbert  W .  Gleason 

This  is  one  of  the  great  granite  peaks  of  the  proposed  Roosevelt  National  Park 


Granite  Pass  is  astonishing!  We  saw  no  less 
than  four  of  these  vast  concentric  cirques,  through 
three  of  which  we  passed.  And  the  Geological  Sur 
vey  map  discloses  a  tributary  basin  adjoining  which 
enclosed  a  group  of  large  volcanic  lakes,  and  doubtless 
other  vast  cirque-like  chambers. 

We  took  photographs,  but  knew  them  vain. 

A  long,  dusty  descent  of  Copper  Creek  brought 
us,  near  day's  end,  into  the  exquisite  valley  of  the 
South  Fork  of  the  Kings  River,  the  Kings  River 

Still  another  Yosemite ! 

It  is  not  so  easy  to  differentiate  the  two  canyons 
of  the  Kings.  They  are  similar  and  yet  very  different. 
Perhaps  the  difference  lies  chiefly  in  degree.  Both  lie 
east  and  west,  with  enormous  rocky  bluffs  rising  on 
either  side  of  rivers  of  quite  extraordinary  beauty. 
Both  present  carved  and  castellated  walls  of  excep 
tional  boldness  of  design.  Both  are  heavily  and 
magnificently  wooded,  the  forests  reaching  up  sharp 
slopes  on  either  side.  Both  possess  to  a  marked  degree 
the  quality  that  lifts  them  above  the  average  of  even 
the  Sierra's  glacial  valleys. 

But  the  outlines  here  seem  to  be  softer,  the  valley 
floor  broader,  the  river  less  turbulent.  If  the  keynote 
of  the  Tehipite  Valley  is  wild  exuberance,  that  of  the 
Kings  River  Canyon  is  wild  beauty.  The  one  excites, 
the  other  lulls.  The  one  shares  with  Yosemite  the 
distinction  of  extraordinary  outline,  the  other  shares 
with  Yosemite  the  distinction  of  extraordinary  charm. 


There  are  few  nobler  spots  than  the  junction  of 
Copper  Creek  with  the  Kings.  The  Grand  Sentinel 
is  seldom  surpassed.  It  fails  of  the  personality  of 
El  Capitan,  Half  Dome,  and  Tehipite,  but  it  only 
just  fails.  If  they  did  not  exist,  it  would  become  the 
most  celebrated  rock  in  the  Sierra,  at  least.  The  view 
up  the  canyon  from  this  spot  has  few  equals.  The 
view  down  the  canyon  is  not  often  excelled.  When 
the  day  of  the  Kings  River  Canyon  dawns,  it  will 
dawn  brilliantly. 


The  western  slopes  of  the  Pacific  ranges,  from 
the  Canadian  border  southward  to  the  desert,  carry 
the  most  luxuriant  forest  in  the  United  States.  The 
immense  stands  of  yellow  pine  and  Douglas  fir  of  the 
far  north  merge  into  the  sugar  pines  and  giant  sequoias 
of  the  south  in  practically  an  unbroken  belt  which,  on 
Sierra's  slopes,  lies  on  the  middle  levels  between  the 
low  productive  plains  of  the  west  and  the  towering 
heights  of  the  east.  The  Sequoia  National  Park  and 
its  little  neighbor,  the  General  Grant  National  Park, 
enclose  areas  of  remarkable  fertility  in  which  trees, 
shrubs,  and  wild  flowers  reach  their  greatest  develop 
ment.  The  million  sequoia  trees  which  grow  here 
are  a  very  small  part,  numerically,  of  this  amazing 

These  slopes  are  rich  with  the  soil  of  thousands  of 
years  of  accumulations.  They  are  warmed  in  summer 
by  mild  Pacific  winds  heated  in  their  passage  across 


the  lowlands,  and  blanketed  in  winter  by  many  feet 
of  soft  snow.  They  are  damp  with  countless  springs 
and  streams  sheltered  under  heavy  canopies  of  foliage. 
In  altitude  they  range  from  two  thousand  feet  at  the 
bottom  of  Kaweah's  canyon,  as  it  emerges  from  the 
park,  to  eight  thousand  feet  in  the  east,  with  moun 
tains  rising  three  or  four  thousand  feet  higher. 
It  is  a  tumbled  land  of  ridges  and  canyons,  but  its 
slopes  are  easy  and  its  outline  gracious.  Oases  of 
luscious  meadows  dot  the  forests. 

This  is  the  Court  of  King  Sequoia.  Here  assem 
ble  in  everlasting  attendance  millions  of  his  nobles,  a 
statelier  gathering  than  ever  bowed  the  knee  before 
human  potentate.  Erect,  majestic,  clothed  in  togas 
of  perpetual  green,  their  heads  bared  to  the  heavens, 
stand  rank  upon  rank,  mile  upon  mile,  the  noblest 
personalities  of  the  earth. 

Chief  among  the  courtiers  of  the  king  is  the  sugar- 
pine,  towering  here  his  full  two  hundred  feet,  straight 
as  a  ruler,  his  stem  at  times  eight  feet  in  thickness, 
scarcely  tapering  to  the  heavy  limbs  of  his  high  crown. 
Largest  and  most  magnificent  of  the  Pacific  pines, 
reaching  sometimes  six  hundred  years  of  age,  the 
greater  trunks  clear  themselves  of  branches  a  hundred 
feet  from  the  ground,  and  the  bark  develops  long  dark 
plates  of  armor.  So  marked  is  his  distinguished  per 
sonality  that,  once  seen,  he  never  can  be  mistaken  for 

Next  in  rank  and  scarcely  less  in  majesty  is  the 
massive  white  fir,  rising  at  times  even  to  two  hundred 


feet,  his  sometimes  six-foot  trunk  conspicuously  rough, 
dark  brown  in  color,  deeply  furrowed  with  ashen  gray. 
His  pale  yellow-green  crown  is  mysteriously  tinged 
with  white.  His  limit  of  age  is  three  hundred  and 
fifty  years. 

Last  of  the  ranking  trio  is  the  western  yellow  pine, 
a  warrior  clad  in  plates  of  russet  armor.  A  hundred 
and  sixty  feet  in  natural  height,  here  he  sometimes 
towers  even  with  his  fellow  knights.  He  guards  the 
outer  precincts  of  the  court,  his  cap  of  yellow-green, 
his  branching  arms  resting  upon  his  sides. 

These  are  the  great  nobles,  but  with  them  are 
millions  of  lesser  courtiers,  the  incense  cedar  from  whose 
buttressed,  tapering  trunks  spring  countless  branches 
tipped  with  fan-like  plumes;  many  lesser  conifers;  the 
splendid  Pacific  birches  in  picturesque  pose;  the  oaks 
of  many  kinds  far  different  from  their  eastern  cousins. 
And  among  the  feet  of  these  courtiers  of  higher  degree 
crowd  millions  upon  millions  of  flowering  shrubs, 
massing  often  in  solid  phalanxes,  disputing  passage 
with  the  deer. 

All  mingle  together,  great  and  small.  The  con 
ifers,  in  the  king's  honor,  flaunt  from  stem  and  greater 
branch  long  fluttering  ribbons  of  pale  green  moss. 
Thousands  of  squirrels  chatter  in  the  branches.  Mil 
lions  of  birds  make  music.  It  is  a  gala  day. 

Enter  the  King. 

The  King  of  Trees  is  of  royal  lineage.  The  pa 
tient  searchers  in  the  rocks  of  old  have  traced  his  an 
cestry  unknown  millions  of  years,  back  to  the  forests 


of  the  Cretaceous  Period.    His  was  Viking  stock  from 
arctic  zones  where  trees  can  live  no  more. 

To-day  he  links  all  human  history.  The  identical 
tree  around  which  gather  thousands  of  human  courtiers 
every  year  emerged,  a  seedling,  while  Nebuchadnezzar 
besieged  Jerusalem.  No  man  knows  how  old  his  pred 
ecessors  were  when  finally  they  sank  into  death — 
mighty  fall !  But  John  Muir  counted  four  thousand 
rings  in  the  trunk  of  one  fallen  giant,  who  must  have 
lived  while  Pharaoh  still  held  captive  the  Children  of 

The  General  Sherman  Tree  of  the  Giant  Forest, 
the  oldest  living  thing  to-day,  so  far  as  I  have  been 
able  to  ascertain,  probably  has  seen  thirty-six  hundred 
years.  It  is  evident  to  the  unlearned  observer  that, 
while  mature,  he  is  long  short  of  the  turn  of  life.  A 
thousand  years  from  now  he  still  may  be  the  earth's 
biggest  and  oldest  living  thing;  how  much  beyond 
that  none  may  venture  to  predict. 

Picture,  now,  the  Giant  Forest,  largest  of  the  sev 
eral  sequoia  groves  in  the  Sequoia  National  Park. 
You  have  entered,  say,  in  the  dusk  of  the  night  be 
fore,  and  after  breakfast  wander  planless  among  the 
trees.  On  every  side  rise  the  huge  pines  and  firs, 
their  dark  columns  springing  from  the  tangled  brush 
to  support  the  cathedral  roof  above.  Here  an  enor 
mous  purplish-red  column  draws  and  holds  your  as 
tonished  eye.  It  is  a  gigantic  thing  in  comparison 
with  its  monster  neighbors;  it  glows  among  their  dull 
columns;  it  is  clean  and  spotless  amid  their  moss- 


hung  trunks;  branchless,  it  disappears  among  their 
upper  foliage,  hinting  at  steeple  heights  above.  Yet 
your  guide  tells  you  that  this  tree  is  small;  that  its 
diameter  is  less  than  twenty  feet;  that  in  age  it  is  a 
youngster  of  only  two  thousand  years!  Wait,  he 
tells  you,  till  you  see  the  General  Sherman  Tree's 
thirty- six  and  a  half  feet  of  diameter;  wait  till  you  see 
the  hundreds,  yes  thousands,  which  surpass  this 
infant ! 

But  you  heed  him  not,  for  you  see  another  back 
among  those  sugar  pines !  Yes,  and  there's  another. 
And  there  on  the  left  are  two  or  three  in  a  clump ! 
Back  in  the  dim  cathedral  aisles  are  reddish  glows 
which  must  mean  still  others.  Your  heart  is  beating 
with  a  strange  emotion.  You  look  up  at  the  enormous 
limbs  bent  at  right  angles,  at  the  canopy  of  feathery 
foliage  hanging  in  ten  thousand  huge  plumes.  You 
cry  aloud  for  the  sheer  joy  of  this  great  thing,  and 
plunge  into  the  forest's  heart. 

The  Giant  Forest  contains  several  thousand  se 
quoia  trees  of  large  size,  and  many  young  trees.  You 
see  these  small  ones  on  every  hand,  erect,  sharply 
pointed,  giving  in  every  line  a  vivid  impression  of 
quivering,  bounding  life.  Later  on,  as  they  emerge 
above  the  roof  of  the  forest,  for  some  of  them  are  more 
than  three  hundred  feet  high,  they  lose  their  sharp 
ambitious  tops;  they  become  gracefully  rounded. 
Springing  from  seed  less  than  a  quarter  of  an  inch  in 
diameter,  they  tend,  like  their  cousins  the  redwoods, 
to  grow  in  groups,  and  these  groups  tend  to  grow  in 

From  a  photograph  by  S.  H.  Willard  >  ',  \  \    >5  / 

Along  the  crest  of  the  Sierra  extends  a  region  of  lofty  cirques  and  iipnunveraWe'slacii 


From  right  to  left:   Benjamin  Ide  Wheeler,  William  Loeb,  Jr.,  Nicholas  Murray  Butler,  John  Muir, 

Surgeon-General  Rixey,  U.  S.  N., Theodore  Roosevelt,  then  President, 

George  C.  Pardee,  and  William  H.  Moody 


groves.  But  there  are  scattering  individuals  in  every 
grove,  and  many  small  isolated  groves  in  the  Sierra. 
The  Giant  Forest  is  the  largest  grove  of  greatest  trees. 
The  General  Grant  Grove,  in  a  small  national  park  of 
its  own,  near  by,  is  the  second  grove  in  size  and  impor 
tance;  its  central  figure  is  the  General  Grant  Tree, 
second  in  size  and  age  to  the  General  Sherman  Tree. 

The  dimensions  of  the  greatest  trees  are  aston 
ishing.    Glance  at  this  table: 




General  Sherman 

270  0 


Abrs.li3.iii  Lincoln 



William  McKinley         









General  Grant                                         .    . 



George  Washington  



The  Theodore  Roosevelt  Tree,  which  has  not  been 
measured  at  this  writing,  is  one  of  the  noblest  of  all, 
perfect  in  form  and  color,  abounding  in  the  glory  of 
young  maturity. 

To  help  realization  at  home  of  the  majesty  of  the 
General  Sherman  Tree,  mark  its  base  diameter,  thirty- 
six  and  a  half  feet,  plainly  against  the  side  of  some 
building,  preferably  a  church  with  a  steeple  and  neigh- 


boring  trees;  then  measure  two  hundred  and  eighty 
feet,  its  height,  upon  the  ground  at  right  angles  to  the 
church;  then  stand  on  that  spot  and,  facing  the  church, 
imagine  the  trunk  rising,  tapering  slightly,  against  the 
building's  side  and  the  sky  above  it;  then  slowly  lift 
your  eyes  until  you  are  looking  up  into  the  sky  at  an 
angle  of  forty-five  degrees,  this  to  fix  its  height  were  it 
growing  in  front  of  the  church. 

Imagine  its  lowest  branches,  each  far  thicker  than 
the  trunks  of  eastern  elms  and  oaks,  pushing  horizon 
tally  out  at  a  height  above  ground  of  a  hundred  and 
fifty  feet,  which  is  higher  than  the  tops  of  most  of  the 
full-grown  trees  of  our  eastern  forests.  Imagine  these 
limbs  bent  horizontally  at  right  angles,  like  huge  elbows, 
as  though  holding  its  green  mantle  close  about  its 
form.  Imagine  the  upper  branches  nearly  bare, 
shattered  perhaps  by  lightning.  And  imagine  its 
crown  of  foliage,  dark  yellowish-green,  hanging  in 
enormous  graceful  plumes. 

This  is  the  King  of  Trees. 





THE  Sierra  Nevada  Mountains  of  California  and 
the  Cascade  Range  of  California,  Oregon,  and 
Washington  have  each  three  national  parks  which 
fully  represent  their  kind  and  quality.  The  great  cen 
tral  system  of  the  United  States,  the  Rocky  Moun 
tains,  which  also  possess  three  national  parks,  are  rep 
resented  in  kind  by  only  one,  for  Yellowstone  is  an 
exceptional  volcanic  interlude,  and  Glacier  is  the 
chance  upheaval  of  shales  and  limestones  from  a  period 
antedating  the  granite  Rockies  by  many  millions  of 
years;  neither  in  any  sense  exhibits  the  nature  and 
scenic  quality  of  the  backbone  of  our  continent. 

This  is  one  of  the  reasons  for  the  extraordinary 
distinction  of  the  reservation  appropriately  called  the 
Rocky  Mountain  National  Park,  namely  that  it  is 
the  only  true  example  of  the  continental  mountain 
system  in  the  catalogue  of  our  national  parks.  It  is 
well,  therefore,  to  lay  the  foundations  for  a  sound 
comprehension  of  its  differentiating  features. 

The  Rocky  Mountains,  which  began  to  rise  at  the 
close  of  the  Cretaceous  Period  at  a  rate  so  slow  that 
geologists  think  they  are  making  a  pace  to-day  as 



rapid  as  their  maximum,  extend  from  the  plateau  of 
New  Mexico  northwesterly  until  they  merge  into  the 
mountains  of  eastern  Alaska.  In  the  United  States 
physiographers  consider  them  in  two  groups,  the 
Northern  Rockies  and  the  Southern  Rockies,  the  point 
of  division  being  the  elevated  Wyoming  Basin.  There 
are  numerous  ranges,  known,  like  the  Wasatch  Moun 
tains,  by  different  names,  which  nevertheless  are  con 
sistent  parts  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  System. 

The  Rockies  attain  their  most  imposing  mass  and 
magnificence  in  their  southern  group,  culminating  in 
Colorado.  So  stupendous  is  this  heaping  together  of 
granitic  masses  that  in  Colorado  alone  are  found  forty- 
two  of  the  fifty-five  named  peaks  in  the  United  States 
which  attain  the  altitude  of  fourteen  thousand  feet. 
Of  the  others,  twelve  are  in  the  Sierra  of  California, 
and  one,  Mount  Rainier,  in  Washington.  Mount  El- 
bert,  in  Colorado,  our  second  highest  peak,  rises  within 
eighty-two  feet  of  the  height  of  California's  Mount 
Whitney,  our  first  in  rank;  Colorado's  Mount  Massive 
attains  an  altitude  only  four  feet  less  than  Washing 
ton's  Mount  Rainier,  which  ranks  third.  In  point  of 
mass,  one  seventh  of  Colorado  rises  above  ten  thou 
sand  feet  of  altitude.  The  state  contains  three  hun 
dred  and  fifty  peaks  above  eleven  thousand  feet  of 
altitude,  two  hundred  and  twenty  peaks  above  twelve 
thousand  feet,  and  a  hundred  and  fifty  peaks  above 
thirteen  thousand  feet;  besides  the  forty-two  named 
peaks  which  exceed  fourteen  thousand  feet,  there  are 
at  least  three  others  which  are  unnamed. 


Geologists  call  the  Rockies  young,  by  which  they 
mean  anything,  say,  from  five  to  twenty  million  years. 
They  are  more  or  less  contemporary  with  the  Sierra. 
Like  the  Sierra,  the  mountains  we  see  to-day  are  not 
the  first;  several  times  their  ranges  have  uplifted  upon 
wrecks  of  former  ranges,  which  had  yielded  to  the  as 
saults  of  frost  and  rain.  Before  they  first  appeared, 
parts  of  the  Eastern  Appalachians  had  paralleled  our 
eastern  sea  coast  for  many  million  years.  The  Age  of 
Mammals  had  well  dawned  before  they  became  a 
feature  in  a  landscape  which  previously  had  been  a 
mid-continental  sea. 


The  Front  Range,  carrying  the  continental  divide, 
is  a  gnarled  and  jagged  rampart  of  snow-splashed 
granite  facing  the  eastern  plains,  from  which  its  grim 
summits  may  be  seen  for  many  miles.  Standing  out 
before  it  like  captains  in  front  of  gray  ranks  at  parade 
rise  three  conspicuous  mountains,  Longs  Peak,  fifty 
miles  northwest  of  Denver,  Mount  Evans,  west  of 
Denver,  and  Pikes  Peak,  seventy  miles  to  the  south. 
Longs  Peak  is  directly  connected  with  the  continental 
divide  by  a  series  of  jagged  cliffs.  Mount  Evans  is 
farther  away.  Pikes  Peak  stands  sentinel-like  seventy- 
five  miles  east  of  the  range,  a  gigantic  monadnock, 
remainder  and  reminder  of  a  former  range  long  ages 
worn  away. 

Though  many  massive  mountains  of  greater  alti 
tude  lie  farther  west,  the  Front  Range  for  many  rea- 


sons  is  representative  of  the  Rockies'  noblest.  To 
represent  them  fully,  the  national  park  should  include 
the  three  sentinel  peaks  and  their  neighborhoods,  and 
it  is  earnestly  hoped  that  the  day  will  come  when 
Congress  will  recognize  this  need.  At  this  writing 
only  the  section  of  greatest  variety  and  magnificence, 
the  nearly  four  hundred  square  miles  of  which  Longs 
Peak  is  the  climax,  has  been  thus  entitled.  In  fact, 
even  this  was  unfortunately  curtailed  in  the  making, 
the  straight  southern  boundary  having  been  arbitrarily 
drawn  through  the  range  at  a  point  of  sublimity, 
throwing  out  of  the  park  the  St.  Vrain  Glaciers  which 
form  one  of  the  region's  wildest  and  noblest  spectacles, 
and  Arapaho  Peak  and  its  glaciers  which  in  several 
respects  constitute  a  climax  in  Rocky  Mountain 

Thus  carelessly  cropped,  despoiled  of  the  complete 
ness  which  Nature  meant  it  to  possess,  nevertheless  the 
Rocky  Mountain  National  Park  is  a  reservation  of 
distinguished  charm  and  beauty.  It  straddles  the 
continental  divide,  which  bisects  it  lengthwise,  north 
and  south.  The  western  slopes  rise  gently  to  the  di 
vide;  at  the  divide,  the  eastern  front  drops  in  a  preci 
pice  several  thousand  feet  deep,  out  of  which  frosts, 
rains,  glaciers  and  streams  have  gouged  gigantic  gulfs 
and  granite-bound  vales  and  canyons,  whose  inter 
vening  cliffs  are  battlemented  walls  and  monoliths. 

As  if  these  features  were  not  enough  to  differ 
entiate  this  national  park  from  any  other,  Nature  has 
provided  still  another  element  of  popularity  and  dis- 

From  a  photograph  by  Wiswall  Brothers 


Showing  the  village  and  the  foothills,  which  are  remnants  of  a  former  great  range,  now  almost 
washed  away  by  erosion;  Rocky  Mountain  National  Park 

From  a  photograph  by  Wiswall  Brothers 

From  right  to  left:  Flattop  Mountain,  Tyndall  Glacier,  Hallett  Peak,  Otis  Peak,  Andrews  Glacier 


tinction.  East  of  this  splendid  rampart  spreads  a 
broad  area  of  rolling  plateau,  carpeted  with  wild  flowers, 
edged  and  dotted  with  luxuriant  groves  of  pine,  spruce, 
fir,  and  aspen,  and  diversified  with  hills  and  craggy 
mountains,  carved  rock  walls,  long  forest-grown  mo 
raines  and  picturesque  ravines;  a  stream-watered, 
lake-dotted  summer  and  winter  pleasure  paradise  of 
great  size,  bounded  on  the  north  and  west  by  snow- 
spattered  monsters,  and  on  the  east  and  south  by 
craggy  wooded  foothills,  only  less  in  size,  and  no  less 
in  beauty  than  the  leviathans  of  the  main  range. 
Here  is  summer  living  room  enough  for  several  hundred 
thousand  sojourners  from  whose  comfortable  camps 
and  hotels  the  wild  heart  of  the  Rockies  may  be  vis 
ited  afoot  or  on  horseback  between  early  breakfast 
and  late  supper  at  home. 

This  plateau  has  been  known  to  summer  visitors 
for  many  years  under  the  titles  of  several  settlements; 
Moraine  Park,  Horseshoe  Park,  and  Longs  Peak,  each 
had  its  hotels  long  before  the  national  park  was  created; 
Estes  Park  and  Allen's  Park  on  the  east  side,  and 
Grand  Lake  on  the  west  side  lie  just  outside  the  park 
boundaries,  purposely  excluded  because  of  their  con 
siderable  areas  of  privately  owned  land.  Estes  Park, 
the*  principal  village  and  the  distributing  centre  of  all 
incoming  routes  from  the  east,  is  the  Eastern  Gate 
way;  Grand  Lake  is  the  Western  Gateway. 

And  still  there  is  another  distinction,  one  which 
will  probably  always  hold  for  Rocky  Mountain  its 
present  great  lead  in  popularity.  That  is  its  position 


nearer  to  the  middle  of  the  country  than  other  great 
national  parks,  and  its  accessibility  from  large  centres 
of  population.  Denver,  which  claims  with  some  jus 
tice  the  title  of  Gateway  to  the  National  Parks,  mean 
ing  of  course  the  eastern  gateway  to  the  western  parks, 
is  within  thirty  hours  by  rail  from  Chicago  and  St. 
Louis,  through  one  or  other  of  which  most  travellers 
from  the  east  find  it  convenient  to  reach  the  west. 
It  is  similarly  conveniently  located  for  touring  motor 
ists,  with  whom  all  the  national  parks  are  becoming 
ever  more  popular.  From  Denver  several  railroads 
lead  to  east-side  towns,  from  which  the  park  is  reached 
by  motor  stages  through  the  foothills,  and  a  motor 
stage  line  runs  directly  from  Denver  to  Estes  Park, 
paralleling  the  range.  The  west  side  is  reached  through 


Entry  to  the  park  by  any  route  is  dramatic.  If 
the  visitor  comes  the  all-motor  way  through  Ward  he 
picks  up  the  range  at  Arapaho  Peak,  and  follows  it 
closely  for  miles.  If  he  comes  by  any  of  the  rail 
routes,  his  motor  stage  emerges  from  the  foothills  upon 
a  sudden  spectacle  of  magnificence — the  snowy  range, 
its  highest  summits  crowned  with  cloud,  looming  upon 
the  horizon  across  the  peaceful  plateau.  By  any 
route  the  appearance  of  the  range  begins  a  panorama 
of  ever-changing  beauty  and  inspiration,  whose  prog 
ress  will  outlive  many  a  summer's  stay. 

Having  settled  himself  in  one  of  the  hotels  or 


camps  of  the  east-side  plateau,  the  visitor  faces  the 
choice  between  two  practical  ways  of  enjoying  himself. 
He  may,  as  the  majority  seem  to  prefer,  spend  his  weeks 
in  the  simple  recreations  familiar  in  our  eastern  hill 
and  country  resorts;  he  may  motor  a  little,  walk  a 
little,  fish  a  little  in  the  Big  Thompson  and  its  tribu 
taries,  read  and  botanize  a  little  in  the  meadows  and 
groves,  golf  a  little  on  the  excellent  courses,  climb  a 
little  on  the  lesser  mountains,  and  dance  or  play  bridge 
in  hotel  parlors  at  night.  Or  else  he  may  avail  him 
self  of  the  extraordinary  opportunity  which  Nature 
offers  him  in  the  mountains  which  spring  from  his 
comfortable  plateau,  the  opportunity  of  entering  into 
Nature's  very  workshop  and  of  studying,  with  her 
for  his  teacher,  the  inner  secrets  and  the  mighty  exam 
ples  of  creation. 

In  all  our  national  parks  I  have  wondered  at  the 
contentment  of  the  multitude  with  the  less  when  the 
greater,  and  such  a  greater,  was  there  for  the  taking. 
But  I  ceased  to  criticize  the  so-called  popular  point  of 
view  when  I  realized  that  its  principal  cause  was  igno 
rance  of  the  wealth  within  grasp  rather  than  deliberate 
choice  of  the  more  commonplace;  instead,  I  write 
this  book,  hoping  that  it  may  help  the  cause  of  the 
greater  pleasure.  Especially  is  the  Rocky  Mountain 
National  Park  the  land  of  opportunity  because  of  its 
accessibility,  and  of  the  ease  with  which  its  inmost 
sanctuaries  may  be  entered,  examined,  and  appre 
ciated.  The  story  is  disclosed  at  every  step.  In  fact 
the  revelation  begins  in  the  foothills  on  the  way  in 


from  the  railroad,  for  the  red  iron-stained  cliffs  seen 
upon  their  eastern  edges  are  remainders  of  former 
Rocky  Mountains  which  disappeared  by  erosion  mil 
lions  of  years  ago.  The  foothills  themselves  are  rem 
nants  of  mountains  which  once  were  much  loftier  than 
now,  and  the  picturesque  canyon  of  the  Big  Thomp 
son,  through  which  it  may  have  been  your  good  for 
tune  to  enter  the  park,  is  the  stream-cut  outlet  of  a 
lake  or  group  of  lakes  which  once  covered  much  of  the 
national  park  plateau. 

Summer  life  on  the  plateau  is  as  effective  as  a 
tonic.  The  altitude  varies  from  seven  to  nine  thou 
sand  feet;  Rocky  Mountain's  valley  bottoms  are 
higher  than  the  summits  of  many  peaks  of  celebrity 
elsewhere.  On  every  hand  stretch  miles  of  tumbled 
meadows  and  craggy  cliffs.  Many  are  the  excellent 
roads,  upon  which  cluster,  at  intervals  of  miles,  groups 
of  hotels  and  camps.  Here  one  may  choose  his  own 
fashion  of  living,  for  these  hostelries  range  from  the 
most  formal  and  luxurious  hotel  to  the  simplest  collec 
tion  of  tents  or  log  cabins  around  a  central  log  dining 
structure.  Some  of  these  camps  are  picturesque,  the 
growth  of  years  from  the  original  log  hut.  Some  are 
equipped  with  modern  comforts;  others  are  as  primi 
tive  as  their  beginnings.  All  the  larger  resorts  have 
stables  of  riding  horses,  for  riding  is  the  fashion  even 
with  those  who  do  not  venture  into  the  mountains. 

Or,  one  may  camp  out  in  the  good  old-fashioned 
way,  and  fry  his  own  morning  bacon  over  his  fire  of 


Wherever  one  lives,  however  one  lives,  in  this  broad 
tableland,  he  is  under  the  spell  of  the  range.  The  call 
of  the  mountains  is  ever  present.  Riding,  walking, 
motoring,  fishing,  golfing,  sitting  under  the  trees  with 
a  book,  continually  he  lifts  his  eyes  to  their  calm  heights. 
Unconsciously  he  throws  them  the  first  morning  glance. 
Instinctively  he  gazes  long  upon  their  gleaming  moon 
lit  summits  before  turning  in  at  night.  In  time  they 
possess  his  spirit.  They  calm  him,  exalt  him,  ennoble 
him.  Unconsciously  he  comes  to  know  them  in  all 
their  myriad  moods.  Cold  and  stern  before  sunrise, 
brilliant  and  vivid  in  mid-morning,  soft  and  restful 
toward  evening,  gorgeously  colored  at  sunset,  angry, 
at  times  terrifying,  in  storm,  their  fascination  never 
weakens,  their  beauty  changes  but  it  does  not  lessen. 

Mountains  of  the  height  of  these  live  in  constant 
communion  with  the  sky.  Mummy  Mountain  in  the 
north  and  Longs  Peak  in  the  south  continually  gather 
handfuls  of  fleecy  cloud.  A  dozen  times  a  day  a 
mist  appears  in  the  blue,  as  if  entangled  while  passing 
the  towering  summit.  A  few  moments  later  it  is  a 
tiny  cloud;  then,  while  you  watch,  it  thickens  and 
spreads  and  hides  the  peak.  Ten  minutes  later,  per 
haps,  it  dissipates  as  rapidly  as  it  gathered,  leaving 
the  granite  photographed  against  the  blue.  Or  it 
may  broaden  and  settle  till  it  covers  a  vast  acreage  of 
sky  and  drops  a  brief  shower  in  near-by  valleys,  while 
meadows  half  a  mile  away  are  steeped  in  sunshine. 
Then,  in  a  twinkling,  all  is  clear  again.  Sometimes, 
when  the  clearing  comes,  the  summit  is  white  with 


snow.  And  sometimes,  standing  upon  a  high  peak 
in  a  blaze  of  sunshine  from  a  cleared  sky,  one  may 
look  down  for  a  few  moments  upon  the  top  of  one  of 
these  settled  clouds,  knowing  that  it  is  sprinkling  the 
hidden  valley. 

The  charm  of  the  mountains  from  below  may 
satisfy  many,  but  sooner  or  later  temptation  is  sure  to 
beset.  The  desire  comes  to  see  close  up  those  mon 
sters  of  mystery.  Many,  including  most  women, 
ignorant  of  rewards,  refuse  to  venture  because  they 
fear  hardship.  "I  can  never  climb  mountains  in  this 
rarefied  air,"  pleads  one,  and  in  most  cases  this  is  true; 
it  is  important  that  persons  unused  to  the  higher  alti 
tudes  be  temperate  and  discreet.  But  the  lungs  and 
muscles  of  a  well-trained  mountain  horse  are  always 
obtainable,  and  the  least  practice  will  teach  the  un 
accustomed  rider  that  all  he  has  to  do  is  to  sit  his 
saddle  limply  and  leave  everything  else  to  the  horse. 
It  is  my  proud  boast  that  I  can  climb  any  mountain, 
no  matter  how  high  and  difficult,  up  which  my  horse 
can  carry  me. 

And  so,  at  last  and  inevitably,  we  ascend  into  the 


The  mountains  within  the  park  fall  naturally  in 
two  groupings.  The  Front  Range  cuts  the  southern 
boundary  midway  and  runs  north  to  Longs  Peak, 
where  it  swings  westerly  and  carries  the  continental 
divide  out  of  the  park  at  its  northwestern  corner. 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         103 

The  Mummy  Range  occupies  the  park's  entire  north 
end.  The  two  are  joined  by  a  ridge  11,500  feet  in 
altitude,  over  which  the  Fall  River  Road  is  building 
to  connect  the  east  and  the  west  sides  of  the  park. 

The  lesser  of  these  two,  the  Mummy  Range,  is  a 
mountain  group  of  distinguished  beauty.  Its  climax 
is  an  arc  of  gray  monsters,  Ypsilon  Mountain,  13,507 
feet,  Mount  Fairchild,  13,502  feet,  Hagues  Peak, 
13,562  feet,  and  Mount  Dunraven,  12,326  feet;  these 
gather  around  Mummy  Mountain  with  its  13,413  feet. 
A  noble  company,  indeed,  herded  in  close  comrade 
ship,  the  centre  of  many  square  miles  of  summits 
scarcely  less.  Ypsilon's  big  Greek  letter,  outlined  in 
perpetual  snow,  is  one  of  the  famous  landmarks  of  the 
northern  end.  Hagues  Peak  supports  Hallett  Glacier, 
the  most  interesting  in  the  park.  Dunraven,  aloof 
and  of  slenderer  outline,  offers  marked  contrast  to  the 
enormous  sprawling  bulk  of  Mummy,  always  por 
tentous,  often  capped  with  clouds.  The  range  is  split 
by  many  fine  canyons  and  dotted  with  glacial  lakes, 
an  undeveloped  wilderness  designed  by  kindly  nature 
for  summer  exploration. 

But  it  is  the  Front  Range,  the  snowy  pinnacled 
rampart,  which  commands  profoundest  attention. 

From  Specimen  Mountain  in  the  far  northwest, 
a  spill  of  lava,  now  the  haunt  of  mountain  sheep,  the 
continental  divide  southward  piles  climax  upon  climax. 
Following  it  at  an  elevation  well  exceeding  twelve 
thousand  feet,  the  hardy,  venturesome  climber  looks 
westward  down  a  slope  of  bald  granite,  thickly  strewn 


with  boulders;  eastward  he  gazes  into  a  succession  of 
gigantic  gorges  dropping  upon  the  east,  forest  grown, 
lake-set  canyons  deep  in  mid-foreground,  the  great 
plateau  spreading  to  its  foothills  far  beyond  the  can 
yons,  with  now  and  then  a  sun  glint  from  some  irriga 
tion  pond  beyond  the  foothills  on  the  misty  plains  of 
eastern  Colorado.  Past  the  monolith  of  Terra  Tomah 
Peak,  with  its  fine  glacial  gorge  of  many  lakes,  past 
the  Sprague  Glacier,  largest  of  the  several  shrunken 
fields  of  moving  ice  which  still  remain,  he  finds,  from 
the  summit  of  Flattop  Mountain,  a  broad  spectacle  of 
real  sublimity. 

But  there  is  a  greater  viewpoint  close  at  hand. 
Crossing  the  Flattop  Trail  which  here  ascends  from 
the  settlements  below  on  its  way  to  the  west  side, 
and  skirting  the  top  of  the  Tyndall  Glacier,  a  scramble 
of  four  hundred  feet  lands  him  on  the  summit  of  Hal- 
lett  Peak,  12,725  feet  in  altitude.  Here  indeed  is 
reward.  Below  him  lies  the  sheer  abyss  of  the  Tyndall 
Gorge,  Dream  Lake,  a  drop  of  turquoise  in  its  depths; 
beyond  it  a  moraine  reaches  out  upon  the  plateau — 
six  miles  in  length,  a  mile  and  more  in  width,  nearly  a 
thousand  feet  in  height,  holding  Bierstadt  Lake  upon 
its  level  forested  crown,  an  eloquent  reminder  of  that 
ancient  time  when  enormous  glaciers  ripped  the  gran 
ite  from  these  gorges  to  heap  it  in  long  winding  hills 
upon  the  plains  below.  Turning  southerly,  the  Wild 
Gardens  further  spread  before  his  gaze,  a  tumble  of 
granite  masses  rising  from  lake-dotted,  richly  forested 
bottoms.  The  entrance  to  Loch  Vale,  gem  canyon  of 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         105 

the  Rockies,  lies  in  the  valley  foreground.  Adjoining 
it,  the  entrance  to  Glacier  Gorge,  showing  one  of  its 
several  lakes,  rests  in  peaceful  contrast  with  its  im 
pressive  eastern  wall,  a  long,  winding,  sharp-edged 
buttress  pushing  southward  and  upward  to  support 
the  northern  shoulder  of  the  monster,  Longs  Peak, 
whose  squared  summit,  from  here  for  all  the  world 
like  a  chef's  cap,  outlines  sharply  against  the  sky. 
Hallett  Peak  welcomes  the  climber  to  the  Heart  of 
the  Rockies  at  perhaps  their  most  gorgeous  point. 

South  of  Hallett  difficult  going  will  disclose  new 
viewpoints  of  supreme  wildness.  Otis  Peak,  nearly 
as  high  as  Hallett,  looks  down  upon  the  Andrews  Gla 
cier,  and  displays  the  length  of  Loch  Vale,  at  whose 
head  towers  Taylor  Peak,  a  giant  exceeding  thirteen 
thousand  feet. 

I  have  not  sketched  this  tour  of  the  continental 
divide  as  a  suggestion  for  travel,  for  there  are  no  trails, 
and  none  but  the  mountaineer,  experienced  in  pioneer 
ing,  could  accomplish  it  with  pleasure  and  success,  but 
as  a  convenient  mode  of  picturing  the  glories  of  the 
continental  divide.  Some  day  a  trail,  even  perhaps  a 
road,  for  one  is  practicable,  should  make  it  fully  acces 
sible  to  the  greater  public.  Meantime  Flattop  Trail 
invites  valley  dwellers  of  all  degrees,  afoot  and  horse 
back,  up  to  a  point  on  the  divide  from  which  Hallett's 
summit  and  its  stupendous  view  is  no  great  conquest. 

The  gorges  of  the  Wild  Gardens  are  most  enjoyed 
from  below.  Trails  of  no  difficulty  lead  from  the 
settlements  to  Fern  and  Odessa  Lakes  in  a  canyon  un- 


surpassed;  to  Bear  Lake  at  the  outlet  of  the  Tyndall 
Gorge;  to  Loch  Vale,  whose  flower-carpeted  terraces 
and  cirque  lakelets,  Sky  Pond  and  the  Lake  of  Glass, 
are  encircled  with  mighty  canyon  walls;  and  to  Gla 
cier  Gorge,  which  leads  to  the  foot  of  Longs  Peak's 
western  precipice.  These  are  spots,  each  a  day's 
round  trip  from  convenient  over-night  hotels,  which 
deserve  all  the  fame  that  will  be  theirs  when  the  peo 
ple  come  to  know  them,  for  as  yet  only  a  few  hundreds 
a  summer  of  Rocky  Mountain's  hundred  thousand 
take  the  trouble  to  visit  them. 

To  better  understand  the  charm  of  these  gray 
monsters,  and  the  valleys  and  chasms  between  their 
knees,  we  must  pause  a  moment  to  picture  what  archi 
tects  call  the  planting,  for  trees  and  shrubs  and  flowers 
play  as  important  a  part  in  the  informal  architectural 
scheme  of  the  Front  Range  as  they  do  in  the  formality 
of  a  palace.  It  will  be  recalled  that  the  zones  of  vege 
tation  from  the  equator  to  the  frozen  ice  fields  of  the 
far  north  find  their  counterparts  in  altitude.  The 
foothills  bordering  the  Rocky  Mountain  National 
Park  lie  in  the  austral  zone  of  our  middle  and  eastern 
states;  its  splendid  east-side  plateau  and  inter-moun 
tain  valleys  represent  the  luxuriance  of  the  Canadian 
zone;  its  mountains  pass  rapidly  up  in  a  few  thousand 
feet  through  the  Hudsonian  zone,  including  timber- 
line  at  about  11,500  feet;  and  its  highest  summits 
carry  only  the  mosses,  lichens,  stunted  grasses,  and 
tiny  alpine  flowerets  of  the  Arctic  Zone. 

Thus  one  may  walk  waist  deep  through  the  mar- 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         107 

vellous  wild  flower  meadows  of  Loch  Vale,  bordered 
by  luxuriant  forests  of  majestic  Engelmann  spruce, 
pines,  firs,  junipers,  and  many  deciduous  shrubs,  and 
look  upward  at  the  gradations  of  all  vegetation  to  the 
arctic  seas. 

Especially  interesting  is  the  revelation  when  one 
takes  it  in  order,  climbing  into  the  range.  The  Fall 
River  Road  displays  it,  but  not  dramatically;  the 
forest  approach  is  too  long,  the  climb  into  the  Hud- 
sonian  Zone  too  short,  and  not  typical.  The  same  is 
true  of  the  trail  up  beautiful  Forest  Canyon.  The 
reverse  is  true  of  the  Ute  Trail,  which  brings  one  too 
quickly  to  the  stupendous  arctic  summit  of  Trail 
Ridge.  The  Flattop  Trail  is  in  many  respects  the  most 
satisfying,  particularly  if  one  takes  the  time  to  make 
the  summit  of  Hallett  Peak,  and  hunts  for  arctic 
flowerets  on  the  way.  But  one  may  also  accomplish 
the  purpose  in  Loch  Vale  by  climbing  all  the  way  to 
Sky  Pond,  at  the  very  foot  of  steep  little  Taylor  Gla 
cier,  or  by  ascending  Glacier  Gorge  to  its  head,  or  by 
climbing  the  Twin  Sisters,  or  Longs  Peak  as  far  as 
Boulder  Field,  or  up  the  St.  Vrain  valley  to  the  top  of 
Meadow  Mountain,  or  Mount  Copeland. 

All  of  these  ascents  are  made  by  fair  trails,  and  all 
display  the  fascinating  spectacle  of  timber-line,  which 
in  Rocky  Mountain  National  Park,  I  believe,  attains 
its  most  satisfying  popular  expression;  by  which  I 
mean  that  here  the  panorama  of  the  everlasting  strug 
gle  between  the  ambitious  climbing  forests  and  the 
winter  gales  of  the  summits  seems  to  be  condensed 


and  summarized,  to  borrow  a  figure  from  the  text 
books,  as  I  have  not  happened  to  find  it  elsewhere. 
Following  up  some  sheltered  forested  ravine  to  its 
head,  we  swing  out  upon  the  wind-swept  slopes  lead 
ing  straight  to  the  summit.  Snow  patches  increase  in 
size  and  number  as  the  conifers  thin  and  shrink. 
Presently  the  trees  bend  eastward,  permanently  mis 
shaped  by  the  icy  winter  blasts.  Presently  they  curve 
in  semi-circles,  or  rise  bravely  in  the  lee  of  some  great 
rock,  to  bend  at  right  angles  from  its  top.  Here  and 
there  are  full-grown  trees  growing  prostrate,  like  a 
rug,  upon  the  ground. 

Close  to  the  summit  trees  shrink  to  the  size  of 
shrubs,  but  some  of  these  have  heavy  trunks  a  few 
feet  high,  and  doubtless  have  attained  their  fulness  of 
development.  Gradually  they  thin  and  disappear,  giv 
ing  place  to  wiry,  powerful,  deciduous  shrubs,  and  these 
in  turn  to  growths  still  smaller.  There  are  forests 
of  willows  just  above  Rocky  Mountain's  timber-line, 
two  or  three  inches  tall,  and  many  acres  in  extent. 

From  the  Front  Range,  well  in  the  south  of  the 
park,  a  spur  of  toothed  granite  peaks  springs  two 
miles  eastward  to  the  monarch  of  the  park,  Longs 
Peak.  It  is  this  position  in  advance  of  the  range,  as 
much  as  the  advantage  of  its  14,255  feet  of  altitude, 
which  enables  this  famous  mountain  to  become  the 
climax  of  every  east-side  view. 

Longs  Peak  has  a  remarkable  personality.  It  is  an 
architectural  creation,  a  solid  granite  temple,  strongly 
buttressed  upon  four  sides.  From  every  point  of  view 


it  is  profoundly  different,  but  always  consistent  and 
recognizable.  Seen  from  the  east,  it  is  supported  on 
either  side  by  mountains  of  majesty.  Joined  with  it 
on  the  north,  Mount  Lady  Washington  rises  13,269 
feet,  the  cleft  between  their  summits  being  the  way  of 
the  trail  to  Longs  Peak  summit.  Merging  with  it  in 
mass  upon  the  south,  Mount  Meeker  rises  13,911  feet. 
Once  the  three  were  one  monster  mountain.  Frosts 
and  rains  carried  off  the  crust  strata,  bared  the  granite 
core,  and  chipped  it  into  three  summits,  while  a  glacier 
of  large  size  gouged  out  of  its  middle  the  abyss  which 
divides  the  mountains,  and  carved  the  precipice, 
which  drops  twenty-four  hundred  feet  from  Longs 
Peak  summit  to  Chasm  Lake.  The  Chasm,  which  is 
easily  reached  by  trail  from  the  hotels  at  the  moun 
tain's  foot,  is  one  of  the  wildest  places  in  America. 
It  may  be  explored  in  a  day. 

Mountain  climbing  is  becoming  the  fashion  in 
Rocky  Mountain  National  Park  among  those  who 
never  climbed  before,  and  it  will  not  be  many  years 
before  its  inmost  recesses  are  penetrated  by  innumera 
ble  trampers  and  campers.  The  "stunt"  of  the  park 
is  the  ascent  of  Longs  Peak.  This  is  no  particular 
matter  for  the  experienced,  for  the  trail  is  well  worn, 
and  the  ascent  may  be  made  on  horseback  to  the  boulder 
field,  less  than  two  thousand  feet  from  the  summit; 
but  to  the  inexperienced  it  appears  an  undertaking  of 
first  magnitude.  From  the  boulder  field  the  trail  car 
ries  out  upon  a  long  sharp  slant  which  drops  into  the 
precipice  of  Glacier  Gorge,  and  ascends  the  box-like 


summit  cap  by  a  shelf  trail  which  sometimes  has  ter 
rors  for  the  unaccustomed.  Several  hundred  persons 
make  the  ascent  each  summer  without  accident,  in 
cluding  many  women  and  a  few  children.  The  one 
risk  is  that  accidental  snow  obscure  the  trail;  but 
Longs  Peak  is  not  often  ascended  without  a  guide. 

The  view  from  the  summit  of  the  entire  national 
park,  of  the  splendid  range  south  which  should  be  in 
the  park  but  is  not,  of  the  foothills  and  pond-spotted 
plains  in  the  east,  of  Denver  and  her  mountain  back 
ground,  and  of  the  Medicine  Bow  and  other  ranges 
west  of  the  park,  is  one  of  the  country's  great  spec 
tacles.  Longs  Peak  is  sometimes  climbed  at  night  for 
the  sunrise. 

The  six  miles  of  range  between  Longs  Peak  and 
the  southern  boundary  of  the  park  show  five  towering 
snow-spotted  mountains  of  noble  beauty,  Mount  Alice, 
Tanima  Peak,  Mahana  Peak,  Ouzel  Peak,  and  Mount 
Copeland.  Tributary  to  the  Wild  Basin,  which  corre 
sponds,  south  of  Longs  Peak,  to  the  Wild  Gardens 
north  of  it,  are  gorges  of  loveliness  the  waters  of  whose 
exquisite  lakes  swell  St.  Vrain  Creek. 

The  Wild  Basin  is  one  of  Rocky  Mountain's  lands 
of  the  future.  The  entire  west  side  is  another,  for, 
except  for  the  lively  settlement  at  Grand  Lake,  its 
peaks  and  canyons,  meadows,  lakes,  and  valleys  are 
seldom  visited.  It  is  natural  that  the  east  side,  with 
its  broader  plateaus  and  showier  range,  should  have 
the  first  development,  but  no  accessible  country  of  the 
splendid  beauty  of  the  west  side  can  long  remain 

From  a  photograph  by  Wiswall  Brothers 

Twenty-four  hundred  feet  from  water  to  peak,  a  mighty  chasm  carved  by  an  ancient  glacier 


neglected.  Its  unique  feature  is  the  broad  and  beau 
tiful  valley  of  the  North  Fork  of  the  Grand  River, 
here  starting  for  its  great  adventure  in  the  Grand 
Canyon  of  the  Colorado. 

The  Rockies  are  a  masterpiece  of  erosion.  When 
forces  below  the  surface  began  to  push  them  high  in 
air,  their  granite  cores  were  covered  thousands  of  feet 
deep  with  the  sediments  of  the  great  sea  of  whose 
bottom  once  they  were  a  part.  The  higher  they  rose 
the  more  insistently  frosts  and  rains  concentrated  upon 
their  uplifting  summits;  in  time  all  sedimentary  rocks 
were  washed  away,  and  the  granite  beneath  exposed. 

Then  the  frosts  and  rains,  and  later  the  glaciers, 
attacked  the  granite,  and  carved  it  into  the  jagged 
forms  of  to-day.  The  glaciers  moulded  the  gorges 
which  the  streams  had  cut.  The  glaciers  have  passed, 
but  still  the  work  goes  on.  Slowly  the  mountains 
rise,  and  slowly,  but  not  so  slowly,  the  frosts  chisel 
and  the  rains  carry  away.  If  conditions  remain  as 
now,  history  will  again  repeat  itself,  and  the  gorgeous 
peaks  of  to-day  will  decline,  a  million  years  or  more 
from  now,  into  the  low  rounded  summits  of  our  eastern 
Appalachians,  and  later  into  the  flat,  soil-hidden  gran 
ites  of  Canada. 

These  processes  may  be  seen  in  practical  example. 
Ascend  the  precipitous  east  side  by  the  Flattop  Trail, 
for  instance,  and  notice  particularly  the  broad,  rolling 
level  of  the  continental  divide.  For  many  miles  it  is 


nothing  but  a  lofty,  bare,  undulating  plain,  inter 
spersed  with  summits,  but  easy  to  travel  except  for  its 
accumulation  of  immense  loose  boulders.  This  plain 
slopes  gently  toward  the  west,  and  presently  breaks, 
as  on  the  east,  into  cliffs  and  canyons.  It  is  a  stage 
in  the  reduction  by  erosion  of  mountains  which,  ex 
cept  for  erosion,  might  have  risen  many  thousands  of 
feet  higher.  Geologists  call  it  a  peneplain,  which 
means  nearly-a-plain;  it  is  from  fragmentary  remains 
of  peneplains  that  they  trace  ranges  long  ages  washed 
away.  History  may,  in  some  dim  future  age,  repeat 
still  another  wonder,  for  upon  the  flattened  wreck  of 
the  Front  Range  may  rise,  by  some  earth  movement, 
a  new  and  even  nobler  range. 

But  what  about  the  precipitous  eastern  front? 

That  masterpiece  was  begun  by  water,  accom 
plished  by  ice,  and  finished  by  water.  In  the  begin 
ning,  streams  determined  the  direction  of  the  valleys 
and  carved  these  valleys  deep.  Then  came,  in  very 
recent  times,  as  geologists  measure  earth's  history, 
the  Great  Ice  Age.  As  a  result  of  falling  temperature, 
the  mountains  became  covered,  except  their  higher 
summits  and  the  continental  divide,  with  glaciers. 
These  came  in  at  least  two  invasions,  and  remained 
many  hundreds  of  thousands  of  years.  When  changing 
climate  melted  them  away,  the  Rocky  Mountain  Na 
tional  Park  remained  not  greatly  different  from  what 
it  is  to-day.  Frosts  and  rains  have  softened  and 
beautified  it  since. 

These  glaciers,  first  forming  in  the  beds  of  streams 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         113 

by  the  accumulations  of  snow  which  presently  turned 
to  ice  and  moved  slowly  down  the  valleys,  began  at 
once  to  pluck  out  blocks  of  granite  from  their  starting- 
points,  and  settle  themselves  in  cirques.  They  plucked 
downward  and  backward,  undermining  their  cirque 
walls  until  falling  granite  left  precipices;  armed  with 
imprisoned  rocks,  they  gouged  and  scraped  their  beds, 
and  these  processes,  constantly  repeated  for  thousands 
of  centuries,  produced  the  mountain  forms,  the  giant 
gorges,  the  enormous  precipices,  and  the  rounded 
granite  valleys  of  the  stupendous  east  elevation  of  the 
Front  Range. 

There  is  a  good  illustration  in  Iceberg  Lake,  near 
the  base  of  Trail  Ridge  on  the  Ute  Trail.  This  precip 
itous  well,  which  every  visitor  to  Rocky  Mountain 
should  see,  originally  was  an  ice-filled  hollow  in  the 
high  surface  of  the  ridge.  When  the  Fall  River  Gla 
cier  moved  eastward,  the  ice  in  the  hollow  slipped 
down  to  join  it,  and  by  that  very  motion  became  it 
self  a  glacier.  Downward  and  backward  plucking  In 
the  cirque  which  it  presently  made,  and  the  falling  of 
the  undermined  walls,  produced  in,  say,  a  few  hundred 
thousand  years  this  striking  well,  upon  whose  lake's 
surface  visitors  of  to-day  will  find  cakes  of  floating 
ice,  broken  from  the  sloping  snow-field  which  is  the 
old  glacier's  remainder  and  representative  of  to-day. 

The  glaciers  which  shaped  Rocky  Mountain's  big 
canyons  had  enormous  size  and  thickness.  Ice  streams 
from  scores  of  glacial  cirques  joined  fan-like  to  form 
the  Wild  Basin  Glacier,  which  swept  out  through  the 


narrow  valley  of  St.  Vrain.  Four  glaciers  headed  at 
Longs  Peak,  one  west  of  Mount  Meeker,  which  gave 
into  the  Wild  Basin;  one  west  of  Longs  Peak,  which 
joined  the  combination  of  glaciers  that  hollowed  Loch 
Vale;  one  upon  the  north,  which  moulded  Glacier 
Gorge;  and  the  small  but  powerful  glacier  which  hol 
lowed  the  great  Chasm  on  the  east  front  of  Longs 
Peak.  The  Loch  Vale  and  Glacier  Gorge  glaciers 
joined  with  giant  ice  streams  as  far  north  as  Tyndall 
Gorge  to  form  the  Bartholf  Glacier;  and  north  of  that 
the  mighty  Thompson  Glacier  drained  the  divide  to 
the  head  of  Forest  Canyon,  while  the  Fall  River  Glacier 
drained  the  Mummy  Range  south  of  Hagues  Peak. 

These  undoubtedly  were  the  main  glacial  streams 
of  those  ancient  days,  the  agencies  responsible  for  the 
gorgeous  spectacle  we  now  enjoy.  The  greater  gla 
ciers  reached  a  thickness  of  two  thousand  feet;  they 
have  left  records  scratched  high  upon  the  granite  walls. 

As  the  glaciers  moved  down  their  valleys  they 
carried,  imprisoned  in  their  bodies  and  heaped  upon 
their  backs  and  sides,  the  plunder  from  their  wreckage 
of  the  range.  This  they  heaped  as  large  moraines  in 
the  broad  valleys.  The  moraines  of  the  Rocky  Moun 
tain  National  Park  are  unequalled,  in  my  observation, 
for  number,  size,  and  story-telling  ability.  They  are 
conspicuous  features  of  the  great  plateau  upon  the 
east,  and  of  the  broad  valley  of  the  Grand  River  west 
of  the  park.  Even  the  casual  visitor  of  a  day  is  stirred 
to  curiosity  by  the  straight,  high  wall  of  the  great 
moraine  for  which  Moraine  Park  is  named,  and  by 

From  a  photograph  by  Willis  T.  Lee 

A  glacier  in  the  Rocky  Mo 


ntain  National  Park  ,  Which  ^an,  be  studied  >by  ni^itoj-sj  \ 

From  a  photograph  by  H.  T.  Cowling 


Iceberg  Lake  was  cut  eighteen  hundred  feet  deep  by  an  ancient  glacier 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         115 

the  high  curved  hill  which  springs  from  the  north 
eastern  shoulder  of  Longs  Peak,  and  encircles  the 
eastern  foot  of  Mount  Meeker. 

These  and  other  moraines  are  fascinating  features 
of  any  visit  to  Rocky  Mountain  National  Park.  The 
motor  roads  disclose  them,  the  trails  travel  them.  In 
combination  with  the  gulfs,  the  shelved  canyons  and 
the  scarred  and  serrated  peaks  and  walls,  these  mo 
raines  offer  the  visitor  a  thrilling  mystery  story  of  the 
past,  the  unravelling  of  whose  threads  and  the  recon 
struction  of  whose  plot  and  climax  will  add  zest  and 
interest  to  a  summer's  outing,  and  bring  him,  inci 
dentally,  in  close  communion  with  nature  in  a  thou 
sand  happy  moods. 


The  limitations  of  a  chapter  permit  no  mention 
of  the  gigantic  prehistoric  monsters  of  land,  sea,  and 
air  which  once  haunted  the  site  of  this  noble  park,  nor 
description  of  its  more  intimate  beauties,  nor  detail  of 
its  mountaineering  joys;  for  all  of  which  and  much 
other  invaluable  information  I  refer  those  interested 
to  publications  of  the  National  Park  Service,  Depart 
ment  of  the  Interior,  by  Doctor  Willis  T.  Lee  and 
Major  Roger  W.  Toll.  But  something  must  be  told 
of  its  early  history. 

In  1819  the  exploring  expedition  which  President 
Madison  sent  west  under  Colonel  S.  H.  Long,  while 
camping  at  the  mouth  of  La  Poudre  River,  was  greatly 
impressed  by  the  magnificence  of  a  lofty,  square-topped 


mountain.  They  approached  it  no  nearer,  but  named 
it  Longs  Peak,  in  honor  of  their  leader.  Parkman 
records  seeing  it  in  1845. 

The  pioneers,  of  course,  knew  the  country.  Deer, 
elk,  and  sheep  were  probably  hunted  there  in  the 
forties  and  fifties.  Joel  Estes,  the  first  settler,  built  a 
cabin  in  the  foothills  in  1860,  hence  the  title  of  Estes 
Park.  James  Nugent,  afterward  widely  celebrated  as 
"Rocky  Mountain  Jim,"  arrived  in  1868.  Others 
followed  slowly. 

William  N.  Byers,  founder  of  the  Rocky  Mountain 
News,  made  the  first  attempt  to  climb  Longs  Peak  in 
1864.  He  did  not  succeed  then,  but  four  years  later, 
with  a  party  which  included  Major  J.  W.  Powell,  who 
made  the  first  exploration  of  the  Grand  Canyon  the 
following  year,  he  made  the  summit.  In  1871  the 
Reverend  E.  J.  Lamb,  the  first  regular  guide  on  Longs 
Peak,  made  the  first  descent  by  the  east  precipice,  a 
dangerous  feat. 

The  Earl  of  Dunraven  visited  Estes  Park  in  1871, 
attracted  by  the  big  game  hunting,  and  bought  land. 
He  projected  an  immense  preserve,  and  induced  men  to 
file  claims  which  he  planned  to  acquire  after  they  had 
secured  possession;  but  the  claims  were  disallowed. 
Albert  Bierstadt  visited  Dunraven  in  1874,  and  painted 
canvases  which  are  famous  in  American  art. 

It  was  Dunraven,  also,  who  built  the  first  hotel. 
Tourists  began  to  arrive  in  1865.  In  1874  the  first 
stage  line  was  established,  coming  in  from  Longmont. 
Telephone  connection  was  made  in  1906. 

THE  HEART  OF  THE  ROCKIES         117 

Under  the  name  of  Estes  Park,  the  region  pros 
pered.  Fifty  thousand  people  were  estimated  to  have 
visited  it  in  1914.  It  was  not,  however,  till  the  na 
tional  park  was  created,  in  1915,  that  the  mountains 
assumed  considerable  importance  except  as  an  agree 
able  and  inspiring  background  to  the  broad  plateau. 



THE  monster  mountain  of  this  continent,  "the 
majestic,  snow-crowned  American  monarch,"  as 
General  Greeley  called  it,  was  made  a  national  park  in 
1917.  Mount  McKinley  rises  20,300  feet  above  tide 
water,  and  17,000  feet  above  the  eyes  of  the  beholder 
standing  on  the  plateau  at  its  base.  Scenically,  it  is 
the  highest  mountain  in  the  world,  for  those  summits 
of  the  Andes  and  Himalayas  which  are  loftier  as  meas 
ured  from  sea  level,  can  be  viewed  closely  only  from 
valleys  whose  altitudes  range  from  10,000  to  15,000 
feet.  Its  enormous  bulk  is  shrouded  in  perpetual 
snow  two-thirds  down  from  its  summit,  and  the  foot 
hills  and  broad  plains  upon  its  north  and  west  are 
populated  with  mountain  sheep  and  caribou  in  un 
precedented  numbers. 

To  appreciate  Mount  McKinley's  place  among 
national  parks,  one  must  know  what  it  means  in  the 
anatomy  of  the  continent.  The  western  margin  of 
North  America  is  bordered  by  a  broad  mountainous 
belt  known  as  the  Pacific  System,  which  extends  from 
Mexico  northwesterly  into  and  through  Alaska,  to  the 
very  end  of  the  Aleutian  Islands,  and  includes  such 
celebrated  ranges  as  the  Sierra  Nevada,  the  Cascade, 


McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS        119 

and  the  St.  Elias.  In  Alaska,  at  the  head  of  Cook 
Inlet,  it  swings  a  sharp  curve  to  the  southwest  and  be 
comes  Alaska's  mountain  axis.  This  sharp  curve,  for 
all  the  world  like  a  monstrous  granite  hinge  connecting 
the  northwesterly  and  southwesterly  limbs  of  the 
System,  is  the  gigantic  Alaska  Range,  which  is  higher 
and  broader  than  the  Sierra  Nevada,  and  of  greater 
relief  and  extent  than  the  Alps.  Near  the  centre  of 
this  range,  its  climax  in  position,  height,  bulk,  and 
majesty,  stands  Mount  McKinley.  Its  glistening 
peak  can  be  seen  on  clear  days  in  most  directions  for 
two  hundred  miles. 

For  many  years  Mount  St.  Elias,  with  its  eighteen 
thousand  feet  of  altitude,  was  considered  North 
America's  loftiest  summit.  That  was  because  it 
stands  in  that  part  of  Alaska  which  was  first  devel 
oped.  The  Klondike  region,  far  northward,  was  well 
on  the  way  to  development  before  McKinley  became 
officially  recognized  as  the  mountain  climax  of  the 
continent.  But  that  does  not  mean  that  it  remained 
unknown.  The  natives  of  the  Cook  Inlet  country  on 
the  east  knew  it  as  Doleika,  and  tell  you  that  it  is  the 
rock  which  a  god  threw  at  his  eloping  wife.  They  say 
it  was  once  a  volcano,  which  is  not  the  fact.  The 
Aleutes  on  the  south  called  it  Traleika,  the  big  moun 
tain.  The  natives  of  the  Kuskokwim  country  on  the 
west  knew  it  as  Denalai,  the  god,  father  of  the  great 
range.  The  Russians  who  established  the  first  per 
manent  white  settlement  in  Alaska  on  Kodiak  Island 
knew  it  as  Bulshia  Gora,  the  great  mountain.  Cap- 


tain  Cook,  who  in  1778  explored  the  inlet  which  since 
has  borne  his  name,  does  not  mention  it,  but  Van 
couver  in  1794  unquestionably  meant  it  in  his  refer 
ence  to  "distant  stupendous  mountains." 

After  the  United  States  acquired  Alaska,  in  1867, 
there  is  little  mention  of  it  for  some  years.  But  Frank 
Densmore,  an  explorer  of  1889,  entered  the  Kuskok- 
wim  region,  and  took  such  glowing  accounts  of  its 
magnificence  back  to  the  Yukon  that  for  years  it  was 
known  through  the  settlements  as  Densmore's  Moun 
tain.  In  1885  Lieutenant  Henry  C.  Allen,  U.  S.  A., 
made  a  sketch  of  the  range  from  his  skin  boat  on  the 
Tanana  River,  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles  away,  which  is 
the  earliest  known  picture  of  McKinley. 

Meantime  the  neighborhood  was  invaded  by  pros 
pectors  from  both  sides.  The  Cook  Inlet  gold  fields 
were  exploited  in  1894.  Two  years  later  W.  A.  Dickey 
and  his  partner,  Monks,  two  young  Princeton  grad 
uates,  exploring  north  from  their  workings,  recognized 
the  mountain's  commanding  proportions  and  named 
it  Mount  McKinley,  by  which  it  rapidly  became  known, 
and  was  entered  on  the  early  maps.  With  crude  in 
struments  improvised  on  the  spot,  Dickey  estimated 
the  mountain's  height  as  twenty  thousand  feet — a  real 
achievement.  When  Belmore  Browne,  who  climbed 
the  great  peak  in  1912,  asked  Dickey  why  he  chose  the 
name,  Dickey  told  him  that  he  was  so  disgusted  with 
the  free-silver  arguments  of  men  travelling  with  him 
that  he  named  the  mountain  after  the  most  ardent 
gold-standard  man  he  knew. 

McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         121 

The  War  Department  sent  several  parties  to  the 
region  during  the  next  few  years  to  explore,  and  the 
United  States  Geological  Survey,  beginning  in  1898 
with  the  Eldridge-Muldrow  party,  has  had  topo 
graphical  and  geological  parties  in  the  region  almost 
continuously  since.  In  1915  the  Government  began 
the  railroad  from  Seward  to  Fairbanks.  Its  course  lies 
from  Cook  Inlet  up  the  Susitna  River  to  the  head 
waters  of  the  Nenana  River,  where  it  crosses  the 
range.  This  will  make  access  to  the  region  easy  and 
comfortable.  It  was  to  safeguard  the  enormous  game 
herds  from  the  hordes  of  hunters  which  the  railroad 
was  expected  to  bring  rather  than  to  conserve  an  alpine 
region  scenically  unequalled  that  Congress  set  aside 
twenty-two  hundred  square  miles  under  the  name  of 
the  Mount  McKinley  National  Park. 

From  the  white  sides  of  McKinley  and  his  giant 
neighbors  descend  glaciers  of  enormous  bulk  and  great 
length.  Their  waters  drain  on  the  east  and  south, 
through  the  Susitna  River  and  its  tributaries,  into  the 
Pacific;  and  on  the  north  and  west,  through  tributaries 
of  the  Yukon  and  Kuskokwim,  into  Bering  Sea. 

The  south  side  of  McKinley  is  forbidding  in  the 
extreme,  but  its  north  and  west  fronts  pass  abruptly 
into  a  plateau  of  gravels,  sands,  and  silts  twenty-five 
hundred  to  three  thousand  feet  in  altitude,  whose  gentle 
valleys  lead  the  traveller  up  to  the  very  sides  of  the 
granite  monster,  and  whose  mosses  and  grasses  pasture 
the  caribou. 

The  national  park  boundaries  enclose  immense 


areas  of  this  plateau.  The  contours  of  its  rounded 
rolling  elevations  mark  the  courses  of  innumerable 
streams,  and  occasionally  abut  upon  great  sweeping 
glaciers.  Low  as  it  is,  the  plateau  is  generally  above 
timber-line.  The  day  will  come  when  roads  will  wind 
through  its  valleys,  and  hotels  and  camps  will  nestle 
in  its  sheltered  hollows;  while  the  great  herds  of  cari 
bou,  more  than  one  of  which  has  been  estimated  at 
fifteen  hundred  animals,  will  pasture  like  sheep  within 
close  range  of  the  camera.  For  the  wild  animals  of 
McKinley  National  Park,  having  never  been  hunted, 
were  fearless  of  the  explorers,  and  now  will  never  learn 
to  fear  man.  The  same  is  true  in  lesser  measure  of 
the  more  timid  mountain  sheep  which  frequent  the 
foot-hills  in  numbers  not  known  elsewhere.  Charles 
Sheldon  counted  more  than  five  hundred  in  one 
ordinary  day's  foot  journey  through  the  valleys. 

The  magic  of  summer  life  on  this  sunlit  plateau, 
with  its  limitless  distances,  its  rushing  streams,  its 
enormous  crawling  glaciers,  its  waving  grasses,  its 
sweeping  gentle  valleys,  its  myriad  friendly  animals, 
and,  back  of  all  and  commanding  all,  its  never-for 
gotten  and  ever-controlling  presence,  the  shining  Range 
and  Master  Mountain,  powerfully  grip  imagination 
and  memory.  One  never  can  look  long  away  from  the 
mountain,  whose  delicate  rose  tint  differentiates  it 
from  other  great  mountains.  Here  is  ever  present  an 
intimate  sense  of  the  infinite,  which  is  reminiscent  of 
that  pang  which  sometimes  one  may  get  by  gazing 
long  into  the  starry  zenith.  From  many  points  of 

McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         123 

view  McKinley  looks  its  giant  size.  As  the  climber 
ascends  the  basal  ridges  there  are  places  where  its 
height  and  bulk  appall. 

Along  the  northern  edge  of  the  park  lies  the  Kan- 
tishna  mining  district.  In  1906  there  was  a  wild  stam 
pede  to  this  region.  Diamond  City,  Bearpaw  City, 
Glacier  City,  McKinley  City,  Roosevelt,  and  other 
rude  mining  settlements  came  into  rapid  existence. 
Results  did  not  adequately  reward  the  thousands  who 
flocked  to  the  new  field,  and  the  "cities"  were  aban 
doned.  A  hundred  or  two  miners  remain,  scattered 
thinly  over  a  large  area,  which  is  forested  here  and  there 
with  scrubby  growths,  and,  in  localities,  is  remarkably 
productive  of  cultivated  fruits  and  vegetables. 

Few  know  and  few  will  know  Mount  McKinley. 
It  is  too  monstrous  for  any  but  the  hardiest  to  dis 
cover  its  ice-protected  secrets.  The  South  Peak,  which 
is  the  summit,  has  been  climbed  twice,  once  by  the 
Parker-Browne  party  in  1912,  after  two  previous  un 
successful  expeditions,  and  once,  the  year  following, 
by  the  party  of  Archdeacon  Hudson  Stuck,  who  grati 
fied  an  ambition  which  had  arisen  out  of  his  many 
years  of  strenuous  missionary  work  among  the  Alaskan 
Indians.  From  the  records  of  these  two  parties  we 
gather  nearly  all  that  is  known  of  the  mountain.  The 
North  Peak,  which  is  several  hundred  feet  lower,  was 
climbed  by  Anderson  and  Taylor  of  the  Tom  Lloyd 
party,  in  1913. 

From  each  of  these  peaks  an  enormous  buttressing 
ridge  sweeps  northward  until  it  merges  into  the  foot- 


hills  and  the  great  plain.  These  ridges  are  roughly 
parallel,  and  carry  between  them  the  Denali  Glacier, 
to  adopt  Belmore  Browne's  suggested  name,  and  its 
forks  and  tributaries.  Up  this  glacier  is  the  difficult 
passage  to  the  summit.  Tremendous  as  it  is,  the  great 
est  perhaps  of  the  north  side,  the  Denali  Glacier  by 
no  means  compares  with  the  giants  which  flow  from 
the  southern  front. 

In  1903  Judge  James  Wickersham,  afterward  Del 
egate  to  Congress  from  Alaska,  made  the  first  attempt 
to  climb  McKinley;  it  failed  through  his  underestima 
tion  of  the  extensive  equipment  necessary.  In  1906 
Doctor  Frederick  A.  Cook,  who  meantime  also  had 
made  an  unsuccessful  attempt  from  the  north  side, 
led  an  expedition  from  the  south  which  included  Pro 
fessor  Herschel  Parker  of  Columbia  University,  and 
Mr.  Belmore  Browne,  artist,  explorer,  and  big  game 
hunter.  Ascending  the  Yentna  River,  it  reached  a 
point  upon  the  Tokositna  Glacier  beyond  which  prog 
ress  was  impossible,  and  returned  to  Cook  Inlet  and 
disbanded.  Parker  returned  to  New  York,  and  Cook 
proposed  that  Browne  should  lay  in  a  needed  supply 
of  game  while  he,  with  a  packer  named  Barrill,  should 
make  what  he  described  as  a  rapid  reconnaissance 
preparatory  to  a  further  attempt  upon  the  summit 
the  following  year.  Browne  wanted  to  accompany 
him,  but  was  overpersuaded.  Cook  and  Barrill  then 
ascended  the  Susitna,  struck  into  the  country  due 
south  of  McKinley,  and  returned  to  Tyonik  with  the 
announcement  that  they  had  reached  the  summit. 

McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         125 

Cook  exhibited  a  photograph  of  Barrill  standing  upon 
a  crag,  which  he  said  was  the  summit.  A  long  and 
painful  controversy  followed  upon  Cook's  return  east 
with  this  claim. 

In  all  probability  the  object  of  the  Parker-Browne 
expedition  of  1910  was  as  much  to  follow  Cook's 
course  and  check  his  claim  as  to  reach  the  summit. 
The  first  object  was  attained,  and  Herman  L.  Tucker, 
a  national  forester,  was  photographed  standing  on  the 
identical  crag  upon  which  Cook  had  photographed 
Barrill  four  years  before.  This  crag  was  found  miles 
south  of  McKinley,  with  other  peaks  higher  than  its 
own  intervening.  From  here  the  party  advanced  up 
a  glacier  of  enormous  size  to  the  very  foot  of  the  upper 
reaches  of  the  mountain's  south  side,  but  was  stopped 
by  gigantic  snow  walls,  which  defeated  every  attempt 
to  cross.  "At  the  slightest  touch  of  the  sun,"  writes 
Browne,  "the  great  cliffs  literally  smoke  with  ava 

The  Parker-Browne  expedition  undertaken  in  1912 
for  purposes  of  exploration,  also  approached  from  the 
south,  but,  following  the  Susitna  River  farther  up, 
crossed  the  Alaska  Range  with  dog  trains  to  the  north 
side  at  a  hitherto  unexplored  point.  Just  before  cross 
ing  the  divide  it  entered  what  five  years  later  became 
the  Mount  McKinley  National  Park,  and,  against  an 
April  blizzard,  descended  into  a  land  of  many  gorgeous 
glaciers.  "We  were  now,"  writes  Belmore  Browne, 
"in  a  wilderness  paradise.  The  mountains  had  a  wild, 
picturesque  look,  due  to  their  bare  rock  summits,  and 


big  game  was  abundant.  We  were  wild  with  enthu 
siasm  over  the  beauty  of  it  all,  and  every  few  minutes 
as  we  jogged  along  some  one  would  gaze  fondly  at  the 
surrounding  mountains  and  ejaculate:  'This  is  sure  a 
white  man's  country." 

Of  these  " happy  hunting  grounds,"  as  Browne 
chapters  the  park  country  in  his  book,  Stephen  R. 
Capps  of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey  says  in 
his  report: 

"Probably  no  part  of  America  is  so  well  supplied 
with  wild  game,  unprotected  by  reserves,  as  the  area 
on  the  north  slope  of  the  Alaska  Range,  west  of  the 
Nanana  River.  This  region  has  been  so  little  visited 
by  white  men  that  the  game  herds  have,  until  recent 
years,  been  little  molested  by  hunters.  The  white 
mountain  sheep  are  particularly  abundant  in  the  main 
Alaska  Range,  and  in  the  more  rugged  foot-hills. 
Caribou  are  plentiful  throughout  the  entire  area,  and 
were  seen  in  bands  numbering  many  hundred  indi 
viduals.  Moose  are  numerous  in  the  lowlands,  and 
range  over  all  the  area  in  which  timber  occurs.  Black 
bears  may  be  seen  in  or  near  timbered  lands,  and 
grizzly  bears  range  from  the  rugged  mountains  to  the 
lowlands.  Rabbits  and  ptarmigan  are  at  times  re 
markably  numerous." 

Parker  and  Browne  camped  along  the  Muldrow 
Glacier,  now  a  magnificent  central  feature  of  the  park. 
Then  they  made  for  McKinley  summit.  Striking  the 
Denali  Glacier,  they  ascended  it  with  a  dog  train  to 
an  altitude  of  eleven  thousand  feet,  where  they  made  a 

McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         127 

base  camp  and  went  on  afoot,  packing  provisions  and 
camp  outfit  on  their  backs.  At  one  place  they  ascended 
an  incoming  glacier  over  ice  cascades,  four  thousand 
feet  high.  From  their  last  camp  they  cut  steps  in  the 
ice  for  more  than  three  thousand  feet  of  final  ascent,  and 
attained  the  top  on  July  i  in  the  face  of  a  blizzard. 
On  the  northeastern  end  of  the  level  summit,  and  only 
five  minutes'  walk  from  the  little  hillock  which  forms 
the  supreme  summit,  the  blizzard  completely  blinded 
them.  It  was  impossible  to  go  on,  and  to  wait  meant 
rapid  death  by  freezing;  with  extreme  difficulty  they 
returned  to  their  camp.  Two  days  later  they  made  a 
second  attempt,  but  were  again  enveloped  in  an  ice 
storm  that  rendered  progress  impossible.  Exhaus 
tion  of  supplies  forbade  another  try,  and  saved  their 
lives,  for  a  few  days  later  a  violent  earthquake  shook 
McKinley  to  its  summit.  Later  on  Mr.  Browne  iden 
tified  this  earthquake  as  concurrent  with  the  terrific 
explosive  eruption  which  blew  off  the  top  of  Mount 
Katmai,  on  the  south  coast  of  Alaska. 

The  following  spring  the  Stuck-Karstens  party 
made  the  summit  upon  that  rarest  of  occasions  with 
Mount  McKinley,  a  perfect  day.  Archdeacon  Stuck 
describes  the  " actual  summit"  as  "a  little  crater-like 
snow  basin,  sixty  or  sixty-five  feet  long,  and  twenty 
to  twenty-five  feet  wide,  with  a  hay-cock  of  snow  at 
either  end — the  south  one  a  little  higher  than  the 
north."  Ignoring  official  and  recognized  nomenclature, 
and  calling  McKinley  and  Foraker  by  their  Kuskokwim 
Indian  names,  he  writes  of  Mount  Foraker:  "Denali's 


Wife  does  not  appear  at  all  save  from  the  actual  sum 
mit  of  Denali,  for  she  is  completely  hidden  by  his 
South  Peak,  until  the  moment  when  his  South  Peak  is 
surmounted.  And  never  was  nobler  sight  displayed 
to  man  than  that  great  isolated  mountain  spread  out 
completely,  with  all  its  spurs  and  ridges,  its  cliffs  and 
its  glaciers,  lofty  and  mighty,  and  yet  far  beneath  us." 

"Above  us,"  he  writes  a  few  pages  later,  "the  sky 
took  on  a  blue  so  deep  that  none  of  us  had  ever  gazed 
upon  a  midday  sky  like  it  before.  It  was  deep,  rich, 
lustrous,  transparent  blue,  as  dark  as  Prussian  blue, 
but  intensely  blue;  a  hue  so  strange,  so  increasingly 
impressive,  that  to  one  at  least  it  '  seemed  like  special 
news  of  God/  as  a  new  poet  sings.  We  first  noticed 
the  darkening  tint  of  the  upper  sky  in  the  Grand  Basin, 
and  it  deepened  as  we  rose.  Tyndall  observed  and 
discussed  this  phenomenon  in  the  Alps,  but  it  seems 
scarcely  to  have  been  mentioned  since." 

A  couple  of  months  before  the  Parker-Browne 
party  started  for  the  top,  there  was  an  ascent  of  the 
lower  North  Peak  which,  for  sheer  daring  and  en 
durance  must  rank  high  in  the  history  of  adventure. 
Four  prospectors  and  miners  from  the  Kantishna  region 
organized  by  Tom  Lloyd,  took  advantage  of  the  hard 
ice  of  May,  and  an  idle  dog  team,  to  make  for  the 
summit.  Their  motive  seems  to  have  been  little  more 
than  to  plant  a  pole  where  it  could  be  seen  by  tele 
scope,  as  they  thought,  from  Fairbanks;  that  was 
why  they  chose  the  North  Peak.  They  used  no  ropes, 
alpenstocks,  or  scientific  equipment  of  any  sort,  and 

krom  a  photograph  by  G.  B.  Gordon 


From  a  photograph  by  LaVoy 



McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         129 

carried  only  one  camera,  the  chance  possession  of 

They  made  their  last  camp  at  an  altitude  of  eleven 
thousand  feet.  Here  Lloyd  remained,  while  Ander 
son,  Taylor,  and  McGonagall  attempted  the  summit 
in  one  day's  supreme  effort.  Near  the  top  McGona 
gall  was  overcome  by  mountain  sickness.  Anderson 
and  Taylor  went  on  and  planted  their  pole  near  the 
North  summit,  where  the  Stuck-Karstens  party  saw 
it  a  year  later  in  their  ascent  of  the  South  Peak. 

So  extraordinary  a  feat  of  strength  and  endur 
ance  will  hardly  be  accomplished  again  unless,  per 
haps,  by  hardy  miners  of  the  arctic  wilderness.  "The 
North  Pole's  nothing  to  fellows  like  us,"  one  of  them 
said  later  on;  "once  strike  gold  there,  and  we'll  build 
a  town  on  it  in  a  month." 

The  published  records  of  the  Parker-Browne  and 
Stuck-Karstens  expeditions  emphasize  the  laborious 
nature  of  the  climbing.  The  very  isolation  which 
gives  McKinley  its  spectacular  elevation  multiplies  the 
difficulties  of  ascent  by  lowering  the  snow  line  thousands 
of  feet  below  the  snow  line  of  the  Himalayas  and  Andes 
with  their  loftier  surrounding  valleys.  Travel  on  the 
glaciers  was  trying  in  the  extreme,  for  much  of  the 
way  had  to  be  sounded  for  hidden  crevasses,  and, 
after  the  selection  of  each  new  camping  place,  the 
extensive  outfit  must  be  returned  for  and  sledded  or 
carried  up.  Frequent  barriers,  often  of  great  height, 
had  to  be  surmounted  by  tortuous  and  exhausting 
detours  over  icy  cliffs  and  soft  snow.  And  always 


special  care  must  be  taken  against  avalanches;  the 
roar  of  avalanches  for  much  of  the  latter  journey  was 
almost  continuous. 

Toward  the  end,  the  thermometer  was  rarely 
above  zero,  and  at  night  far  below;  but  the  heat  and 
glare  of  the  sun  was  stifling  and  blinding  during  much 
of  the  day;  often  they  perspired  profusely  under  their 
crushing  burdens,  with  the  thermometer  nearly  at 
zero.  Snow  fell  daily,  and  often  several  times  a  day. 

It  is  probable  that  no  other  of  the  world's  moun 
tain  giants  presents  climbing  conditions  so  strenuous. 
Farming  is  successfully  carried  on  in  the  Himalayas 
far  above  McKinley's  level  of  perpetual  snow,  and 
Tucker  reports  having  climbed  a  twenty-thousand-foot 
peak  in  the  Andes  with  less  exertion  than  it  cost  the 
Parker-Browne  party,  of  which  he  had  been  a  member, 
to  mount  the  first  forty-five  hundred  feet  of  McKinley. 

While  McKinley  will  be  climbed  again  and  again 
in  the  future,  the  feat  will  scarcely  be  one  of  the  pop 
ular  amusements  of  the  national  park. 

Yet  Mount  McKinley  is  the  northern  landmark 
of  an  immense  unexplored  mountain  region  south  of 
the  national  park,  which  very  far  surpasses  the  Alps 
in  every  feature  that  has  made  the  Alps  world-famous. 
Of  this  region  A.  H.  Brooks,  Chief  of  the  Alaska  Divi 
sion  of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey,  writes: 

"Here  lies  a  rugged  highland  area  far  greater  in 
extent  than  all  of  Switzerland,  a  virgin  field  for 
explorers  and  mountaineers.  He  who  would  mas 
ter  unattained  summits,  explore  unknown  rivers,  or 

McKINLEY,  GIANT  OF  GIANTS         131 

traverse  untrodden  glaciers  in  a  region  whose  scenic 
beauties  are  hardly  equalled,  has  not  to  seek  them  in 
South  America  or  Central  Asia,  for  generations  will 
pass  before  the  possibilities  of  the  Alaskan  Range  are 
exhausted.  But  this  is  not  Switzerland,  with  its  hotels, 
railways,  trained  guides,  and  well-worn  paths.  It  will 
appeal  only  to  him  who  prefers  to  strike  out  for  him 
self,  who  can  break  his  own  trail  through  trackless 
wilds,  can  throw  the  diamond  hitch,  and  will  take  the 
chances  of  life  and  limb  so  dear  to  the  heart  of  the 
true  explorer." 

The  hotels  will  come  in  time  to  the  Mount  McKin- 
ley  National  Park,  and  perhaps  they  will  come  also 
to  the  Alaskan  Alps.  Perhaps  it  is  not  straining  the 
credulity  of  an  age  like  ours  to  suggest  that  McKin- 
ley's  commanding  summit  may  be  attained  some  day 
by  aeroplane,  with  many  of  the  joys  and  none  of  the 
distressing  hardships  endured  by  the  weary  climber. 
When  this  time  comes,  if  it  does  come,  there  will  be 
added  merely  another  extraordinary  experience  to 
the  very  many  unique  and  pleasurable  experiences  of 
a  visit  to  the  Mount  McKinley  National  Park. 




IT  has  been  the  policy  of  Congress  to  create  national 
parks  only  from  public  lands,  the  title  to  which 
costs  nothing  to  acquire.  It  may  be  many  years  be 
fore  the  nation  awakes  to  the  fact  that  areas  distin 
guished  for  supreme  scenery,  historical  association,  or 
extraordinary  scientific  significance  are  worth  con 
serving  even  if  conservation  involves  their  purchase. 
The  answer  to  the  oft-asked  question  why  the  na 
tional  parks  are  all  in  the  west  is  that  the  east  passed 
into  private  possession  before  the  national  park  idea 
assumed  importance  in  the  national  consciousness. 

The  existence  of  the  two  national  parks  east  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains  merely  emphasizes  the  fact.  The 
Hot  Springs  of  Arkansas  were  set  apart  in  1832  while 
the  Ozark  Mountains  were  still  a  wilderness.  The 
Lafayette  National  Park,  in  Maine,  is  made  up  of 
many  small  parcels  of  privately  owned  land  which  a 
group  of  public-spirited  citizens,  because  of  the  im 
possibility  of  securing  national  appropriations,  pa 
tiently  acquired  during  a  series  of  laborious  years,  and 
presented,  in  1916,  to  the  people  of  the  United  States. 
While  refusing  to  purchase  land  for  national 

parks,  Congress  nevertheless  is  buying  large  areas  of 



eastern  mountain  land  for  national  forest,  the  purpose 
being  not  only  to  conserve  water  sources,  which  na 
tional  parks  would  accomplish  quite  as  thoroughly, 
but  particularly  to  control  lumbering  operations  in 
accord  with  principles  which  will  insure  the  lumber 
supply  of  the  future.  Here  and  there  in  this  reserve 
are  limited  areas  of  distinguished  national  park  qual 
ity,  but  whether  they  will  be  set  aside  as  national 
parks  is  a  question  for  the  people  and  the  future  to 
decide.  Certainly  the  mountain  topography  and  the 
rich  deciduous  forests  of  the  eastern  United  States 
should  be  represented  in  the  national  parks  system  by 
several  fine  examples. 

The  Lafayette  National  Park  differs  from  all 
other  members  of  the  national  parks  system  in  several 
important  respects.  It  is  in  the  far  east;  it  combines 
seashore  and  mountain;  it  is  clothed  with  a  rich  and 
varied  growth  of  deciduous  trees  and  eastern  conifers; 
it  is  intimately  associated  with  the  very  early  his 
tory  of  America.  Besides  which,  it  is  a  region  of  noble 
beauty,  subtle  charm  and  fascinating  variety. 

The  Appalachian  Mountain  uplift,  which,  roughly 
speaking,  embraces  all  the  ranges  constituting  the 
eastern  rib  of  the  continent,  may  be  considered  to 
include  also  the  very  ancient  peneplains  of  New 
England.  These  tumbled  hills  and  shallow  valleys, 
accented  here  and  there  by  ranges  and  monadnocks, 
by  which  the  geologist  means  solitary  peaks,  are  all 
that  the  frosts  and  rains  of  very  many  millions  of 
years  and  the  glaciers  of  more  recent  geologic  times 


have  left  of  what  once  must  have  been  a  towering 
mountain  region  crested  in  snow.  The  wrinkling  of 
the  earth's  surface  which  produced  this  range  occurred 
during  the  Devonian  period  when  fishes  were  the  pre 
dominant  inhabitants  of  the  earth,  many  millions  of 
years  before  birds  or  even  reptiles  appeared.  Its  rise 
was  accompanied  by  volcanic  disturbances,  whose  evi 
dences  are  abundant  on  islands  between  the  mouth  of 
the  Penobscot  and  Mount  Desert  Island,  though  not 
within  the  park.  The  mind  cannot  conceive  the  lapse 
of  time  which  has  reduced  this  range,  at  an  erosional 
speed  no  greater  than  to-day's,  to  its  present  level. 
During  this  process  the  coast  line  was  also  slowly  sink 
ing,  changing  valleys  into  estuaries  and  land-encircled 
bays.  The  coast  of  Maine  is  an  eloquent  chapter  in 
the  continent's  ancient  history,  and  the  Lafayette 
National  Park  is  one  of  the  most  dramatic  paragraphs 
in  the  chapter. 

Where  the  Penobscot  River  reaches  the  sea,  and 
for  forty  miles  east,  the  sinking  continental  shore  has 
deeply  indented  the  coast  line  with  a  network  of 
broad,  twisting  bays,  enclosing  many  islands.  The 
largest  and  finest  of  these  is  Mount  Desert  Island,  for 
many  years  celebrated  for  its  romantic  beauty.  Upon 
its  northeast  shore,  facing  Frenchman's  Bay,  is  the 
resort  town  of  Bar  Harbor;  other  resorts  dot  its  shores 
on  every  side.  The  island  has  a  large  summer  popula 
tion  drawn  from  all  parts  of  the  country.  Besides  its 
hotels,  there  are  many  fine  summer  homes. 

The  feature  which  especially  distinguishes  Mount 

IN  LAFAYETTE  NATIONAL  PAHK ;  , ,  >   >  ^    > 
Echo  Lake  in  the  foreground,  Sommes  Harbor  boyo-nd;  A^a&a ' ..' 


Thus  does  the  ocean  everlastingly  undermine  the  foundations  of  the  mountains.    Photograph 
taken  at  low  tide;  Lafayette  National  Park 


Desert  Island  from  other  islands,  in  fact  from  the  en 
tire  Atlantic  coast,  is  a  group  of  granitic  mountains 
which  rise  abruptly  from  the  sea.  They  were  once 
towering  monsters,  perhaps  only  one,  unquestionably 
the  loftiest  for  many  miles  around.  They  are  the  sole 
remainders  upon  the  present  coast  line  of  a  great 
former  range.  They  are  composed  almost  wholly  of 
granite,  worn  down  by  the  ages,  but  massive  enough 
still  to  resist  the  agencies  which  wiped  away  their 
comrades.  They  rise  a  thousand  feet  or  more,  grim, 
rounded,  cleft  with  winding  valleys  and  deep  passes, 
divided  in  places  by  estuaries  of  the  sea,  holding  in 
their  hollows  many  charming  lakes. 

Their  abrupt  flanks  gnawed  by  the  beating  sea, 
their  valleys  grown  with  splendid  forests  and  bright 
ened  by  wild  flowers,  their  slopes  and  domes  sprinkled 
with  conifers  which  struggle  for  foothold  in  the  cracks 
which  the  elements  are  widening  and  deepening  in 
their  granite  surface,  for  years  they  have  been  the  re 
sort  of  thousands  of  climbers,  students  of  nature  and 
seekers  of  the  beautiful;  the  views  of  sea,  estuary, 
island,  plain,  lake,  and  mountain  from  the  heights  have 
no  counterpart  elsewhere. 

All  this  mountain  wilderness,  free  as  it  was  to  the 
public,  was  in  private  ownership.  Some  of  it  was 
held  by  persons  who  had  not  seen  it  for  years.  Some 
of  it  was  locked  up  in  estates.  The  time  came  when 
owners  began  to  plan  fine  summer  homes  high  on  the 
mountain  slopes.  A  few,  however,  believed  that  the 
region  should  belong  to  the  whole  people,  and  out  of 


this  belief  grew  the  movement,  led  by  George  B. 
Dorr  and  Charles  W.  Eliot,  to  acquire  title  and  pre 
sent  it  to  the  nation  which  would  not  buy  it.  They 
organized  a  holding  association,  to  which  they  gave 
their  own  properties;  for  years  afterward  Mr.  Dorr 
devoted  most  of  his  time  to  persuading  others  to  con 
tribute  their  holdings,  and  to  raising  subscriptions  for 
the  purchase  of  plots  which  were  tied  up  in  estates. 
In  1916  the  association  presented  five  thousand  acres 
to  the  Government,  and  President  Wilson  created  it 
by  proclamation  the  Sieur  de  Monts  National  Monu 
ment.  The  gift  has  been  greatly  increased  since. 
In  1918  Congress  made  appropriations  for  its  up 
keep  and  development.  In  February,  1919,  Congress 
changed  its  name  and  status;  it  then  became  the  La 
fayette  National  Park. 

The  impulse  to  name  the  new  national  park  after 
the  French  general  who  came  to  our  aid  in  time  of 
need  arose,  of  course,  out  of  the  war-time  warmth  of 
feeling  for  our  ally,  France.  The  region  had  been 
identified  with  early  French  exploration;  the  original 

monument  had  been  named  in  commemoration  of  this 


historical  association.  The  first  European  settlement 
in  America  north  of  the  latitude  of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico 
was  here.  Henry  of  Navarre  had  sent  two  famous 
adventurers  to  the  new  world,  de  Monts  and  Cham- 
plain.  The  first  colony  established  by  de  Monts  was 
at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Croix  River,  which  forms  the 
eastern  boundary  of  Maine,  and  the  first  land  within 
the  present  United  States  which  was  reached  by  Cham- 


plain  was  Mount  Desert  Island.  This  was  in  1604. 
It  was  Champlain  who  gave  the  island  its  present 
name,  after  the  mountains  which  rise  so  prominently 
from  its  rock-bound  shore.  To  him,  however,  the 
name  had  a  different  significance  than  it  first  suggests 
to  us.  L'Isle  des  Monts  Deserts  meant  to  him  the 
Island  of  the  Lonely  Mountains,  and  lonely  indeed 
they  must  have  seemed  above  the  flat  shore  line. 
Thus  named,  the  place  became  a  landmark  for  future 
voyagers;  among  others  Winthrop  records  seeing  the 
mountains  on  his  way  to  the  Massachusetts  colony  in 
1630.  He  anchored  opposite  and  fished  for  two  hours, 
catching  "sixty-seven  great  cod,"  one  of  which  was 
"a  yard  around. " 

"By  a  curious  train  of  circumstances,"  writes 
George  B.  Dorr,  "the  titles  by  which  these  mountains 
to  the  eastward  of  Somes  Sound  are  held  go  back  to 
the  early  ownership  of  Mount  Desert  Island  by  the 
Crown  of  France.  For  it  was  granted  by  Louis  XIV, 
grandson  of  Henry  IV,  to  Antoine  de  la  Mothe 
Cadillac,  an  officer  of  noble  fahiily  from  southwestern 
France,  then  serving  in  Acadia,  who  afterward  became 
successively  the  founder  of  Detroit  and  Governor  of 
Louisiana— the  Mississippi  Valley.  Cadillac  lost  it 
later,  through  English  occupation  of  the  region,  own 
ership  passing,  first  to  the  Province,  then  to  the 
Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts.  But  presently  the 
Commonwealth  gave  back  to  his  granddaughter — 
Madame  de  Gregoire — and  her  husband,  French  refu 
gees,  the  Island's  eastern  half,  moved  thereto  by  the 


part  that  France  had  taken  in  the  recent  War  of  In 
dependence  and  by  letters  they  had  brought  from 
Lafayette.  And  they  came  down  and  lived  there." 

And  so  it  naturally  followed  that,  under  stress  of 
war  enthusiasm,  this  reservation  with  its  French  asso 
ciations  should  commemorate  not  only  the  old  Province 
of  Acadia,  which  the  French  yielded  to  England  only 
after  half  a  century  of  war,  and  England  later  on  to 
us  after  another  war,  but  the  great  war  also  in  which 
France,  England,  and  the  United  States  all  joined  as 
allies  in  the  cause  of  the  world's  freedom.  In  accord 
with  this  idea,  the  highest  mountain  looking  upon  the 
sea  has  been  named  the  Flying  Squadron,  in  honor  of 
the  service  of  the  air,  born  of  an  American  invention, 
and  carried  to  perfection  by  the  three  allies  in  common. 

The  park  may  be  entered  from  any  of  the  sur 
rounding  resorts,  but  the  main  gateway  is  Bar  Har 
bor,  which  is  reached  by  train,  automobile,  and  steam 
boat.  No  resort  may  be  reached  more  comfortably, 
and  hotel  accommodations  are  ample. 

The  mountains  rise  within  a  mile  of  the  town. 
They  extend  westward  for  twelve  miles,  lying  in  two 
groups,  separated  by  a  fine  salt-water  fiord  known  as 
Somes  Sound.  The  park's  boundary  is  exceedingly 
irregular,  with  deep  indentations  of  private  property. 
It  is  enclosed,  along  the  shore,  by  an  excellent  auto 
mobile  road;  roads  also  cross  it  on  both  sides  of  Somes 

There  are  ten  mountains  in  the  eastern  group; 
the  three  fronting  Bar  Harbor  have  been  renamed, 


for  historic  reasons,  Cadillac  Mountain,  the  Flying 
Squadron,  and  Champlain  Mountain.  For  the  same 
reason  mountains  upon  Somes  Sound  have  been  re 
named  Acadia  Mountain,  St.  Sauveur  Mountain,  and 
Norumbega  Mountain,  the  last  an  Indian  name; 
similar  changes  commemorating  the  early  English  oc 
cupation  also  have  been  made  in  the  nomenclature  of 
the  western  group.  Tablets  and  memorials  are  also 
projected  in  emphasis  of  the  historical  associations  of 
the  place. 

Both  mountain  groups  are  dotted  with  lakes; 
those  of  the  western  group  are  the  largest  of  the  island. 

The  pleasures,  then,  of  the  Lafayette  National 
Park  cover  a  wide  range  of  human  desire.  Sea  bathing, 
boating,  yachting,  salt-water  and  fresh-water  fishing, 
tramping,  exploring  the  wilderness,  hunting  the  view 
spots — these  are  the  summer  occupations  of  many 
visitors,  the  diversions  of  many  others.  The  more 
thoughtful  will  find  its  historical  associations  fascinat 
ing,  its  geological  record  one  of  the  richest  in  the  con 
tinent,  its  forests  well  equipped  schools  for  tree  study, 
their  branches  a  museum  of  bird  life. 

To  climb  these  low  mountains,  wandering  by  the 
hour  in  their  hollows  and  upon  their  sea-horizoned 
shoulders,  is,  for  one  interested  in  nature,  to  get  very 
close  indeed  to  the  secrets  of  her  wonderful  east.  One 
may  stand  upon  Cadillac's  rounded  summit  and  let  im 
agination  realize  for  him  the  day  when  this  was  a  glac- 
iered  peak  in  a  mighty  range  which  forged  southward 
from  the  far  north,  shoulder  upon  shoulder,  peak  upon 


peak,  pushing  ever  higher  as  it  approached  the  sea,  and 
extending  far  beyond  the  present  ocean  horizon;  for 
these  mountains  of  Mount  Desert  are  by  no  means 
the  terminal  of  the  original  mighty  range;  the  slow 
subsidence  of  the  coast  has  wholly  submerged  several, 
perhaps  many,  that  once  rose  south  of  them.  The 
valley  which  now  carries  the  St.  Croix  River  drained 
this  once  towering  range's  eastern  slopes;  the  valley 
of  the  Penobscot  drained  its  western  slopes. 

The  rocks  beneath  his  feet  disclose  not  only  this 
vision  of  the  geologic  past;  besides  that,  in  their  slow 
decay,  in  the  chiselling  of  the  trickling  waters,  in  the 
cleavage  of  masses  by  winter's -ice,  in  the  peeling  of  the 
surface  by  alternate  freezing  and  melting,  in  the  disso 
lution  and  disintegration  everywhere  by  the  chemicals 
imprisoned  in  air  and  water,  all  of  which  he  sees  be 
neath  his  feet,  they  disclose  to  him  the  processes  by 
which  Nature  has  wrought  this  splendid  ruin.  And 
if,  captivated  by  this  vision,  he  studies  intimately  the 
page  of  history  written  in  these  rocks,  he  will  find  it 
full  of  fascinating  detail. 

The  region  also  offers  an  absorbing  introduction 
to  the  study  of  our  eastern  flora.  The  exposed  bogs 
and  headlands  support  several  hundred  species  of 
plants  typical  of  the  arctic,  sub-arctic,  and  Hudsonian 
zones,  together  with  practically  all  of  the  common 
plants  of  the  Canadian  zone,  and  many  of  the  southern 
coasts.  So  with  the  trees.  Essentially  coastal,  it  is 
the  land  of  conifers,  the  southern  limit  of  some  which 
are  common  in  the  great  regions  of  the  north,  yet  ex- 

Lafayette  National  Park 


hibiting  in  nearly  full  variety  the  species  for  many 
miles  south;  yet  it  is  also,  in  its  sheltered  valleys,  re 
markably  representative  of  the  deciduous  growths  of 
the  entire  Appalachian  region. 

The  bird  life  is  full  and  varied.  The  food  supply 
attracts  migratory  birds,  and  aquatic  birds  find  here 
the  conditions  which  make  for  increase.  Deer  are 
returning  in  some  numbers  from  the  mainland. 

In  brief,  the  Lafayette  National  Park,  small 
though  it  is,  is  one  of  the  most  important  members  of 
the  national  parks  system.  For  the  pleasure  seeker 
no  other  provides  so  wide  and  varied  an  opportunity. 
To  the  student,  no  other  offers  a  more  readable  or  more 
distinctive  volume;  it  is  the  only  national  museum  of 
the  fascinating  geology  of  the  east,  and  I  can  think 
of  no  other  place  in  the  east  where  classes  can  find  so 
varied  and  so  significant  an  exhibit.  To  the  artist, 
the  poet,  and  the  dreamer  it  presents  vistas  of  ocean, 
inlet,  fiord,  shore,  wave-lashed  promontory,  bog, 
meadow,  forest,  and  mountain — an  answer  to  every 

If  this  nation,  as  now  appears,  must  long  lack  na 
tional  parks  representative  of  the  range  of  its  splendid 
east,  let  us  be  thankful  that  this  one  small  park  is  so 
complete  and  so  distinguished. 



THE  volcanic  national  parks  are  Lassen  Volcanic, 
Crater  Lake,  Mount  Rainier,  Yellowstone,  and 
Hawaii.  Though  several  of  them  exhibit  extremely  high 
mountains,  their  scenic  ensemble  differs  in  almost  all 
respects  from  that  of  the  granite  parks.  The  landscape 
tends  to  broad  elevated  surfaces  and  rolling  hills,  from 
which  rise  sharp  towering  cones  or  massive  mountains 
whose  irregular  bulging  knobs  were  formed  by  out 
breaks  of  lava  upon  the  sides  of  original  central  vents. 

The  Cascade  Mountains  in  Washington,  Oregon, 
and  northern  California  are  one  of  the  best  examples  of 
such  a  landscape;  from  its  low  swelling  summits  rise 
at  intervals  the  powerful  master  cones  of  Shasta, 
Rainier,  Adams,  Hood,  Baker,  and  others.  Fuji 
yama,  the  celebrated  mountain  of  Japan,  may  be 
cited  as  a  familiar  example  of  the  basic  mountain  form, 
the  single-cone  volcanic  peak.  Vesuvius  is  a  familiar 
example  of  simple  complication,  the  double-cone  vol 
cano,  while  Mauna  Loa  in  Hawaii,  including  Kilauea 
of  the  pit  of  fire,  a  neighbor  volcano  which  it  has  almost 
engulfed  in  its  swollen  bulk,  well  illustrates  the  vol 
cano  built  up  by  outpourings  of  lava  from  vents  broken 
through  its  sides.  Flat  and  rolling  Yellowstone  with 
its  geyser  fields,  is  one  of  the  best  possible  examples 
of  a  dead  and  much  eroded  volcanic  region. 

The  scenic  detail  of  the  volcanic  landscape  is  in 
teresting  and  different  from  any  other.  Centuries 



and  the  elements  create  from  lava  a  soil  of  great  fer 
tility.  No  forests  and  wild  flowers  excel  those  growing 
on  the  lavas  of  the  Cascades,  and  the  fertility  of  the 
Hawaiian  Islands,  which  are  entirely  volcanic,  is 
world-famous.  Streams  cut  deep  and  often  highly 
colored  canyons  in  these  broad  lava  lands,  and  wind 
and  rain,  while  eroding  valleys,  often  leave  ornately 
modelled  edifices  of  harder  rock,  and  tall  thin  needles 
pointing  to  the  zenith. 

In  the  near  neighborhood  of  the  volcanoes,  as 
well  as  on  their  sloping  sides,  are  found  lava  formations 
of  many  strange  and  wonderful  kinds.  Hot  springs 
and  bubbling  paint  pots  abound;  and  in  the  Yellow 
stone  National  Park,  geysers.  Fields  of  fantastic, 
twisted  shapes,  masses  suggesting  heaps  of  tumbled 
ropes,  upstanding  spatter  cones,  caves  arched  with 
lava  roofs,  are  a  very  few  of  the  very  many  phenomena 
which  the  climber  of  a  volcano  encounters  on  his  way. 
And  at  the  top,  broad,  bowl-shaped  craters,  whose 
walls  are  sometimes  many  hundred  feet  deep,  enclose, 
if  the  crater  has  long  been  dormant,  sandy  floors,  from 
which,  perhaps,  small  cinder  cones  arise.  If  the  crater 
still  is  active,  the  adventurer's  experiences  are  limited 
only  by  his  daring. 

The  entire  region,  in  short,  strikingly  differs  from 
any  other  of  scenic  kind. 

Of  the  several  processes  of  world-making,  all  of 
which  are  progressing  to-day  at  normal  speed,  none  is 
so  thrilling  as  volcanism,  because  no  other  concen 
trates  action  into  terms  of  human  grasp.  Lassen 


Peak's  eruption  of  a  thousand  cubic  yards  of  lava  in  a 
few  hours  thrills  us  more  than  the  Mississippi's  erosion 
of  an  average  foot  of  her  vast  valley  in  a  hundred  thou 
sand  years;  yet  the  latter  is  enormously  the  greater. 
The  explosion  of  Mount  Katmai,  the  rise  and  fall  of 
Kilauea's  boiling  lava,  the  playing  of  Yellowstone's 
monster  geysers,  the  spectacle  of  Mazama's  lake- 
filled  crater,  the  steaming  of  the  Cascade's  myriad 
bubbling  springs,  all  make  strong  appeal  to  the  imagi 
nation.  They  carry  home  the  realization  of  mysteri 
ous,  overwhelming  power. 

Lava  is  molten  rock  of  excessively  high  tempera 
ture,  which  suddenly  becomes  released  from  the  fear 
ful  pressures  of  earth's  interior.  Hurled  from  vol 
canic  vents,  or  gushing  from  cracks  in  the  earth's  skin, 
it  spreads  rapidly  over  large  neighborhoods,  filling 
valleys  and  raising  bulky  rounded  masses. 

Often  it  is  soft  and  frothy,  like  pumice.  Even  in 
its  frequent  glass  forms,  obsidian,  for  example,  it 
easily  disintegrates.  There  are  as  many  kinds  of 
lava  as  there  are  kinds  of  rock  from  which  it  is  formed. 

Volcanic  scenery  is  by  no  means  confined  to  what 
we  call  the  volcanic  national  parks.  Volcanoes  were 
frequent  in  many  parts  of  the  continent.  We  meet 
their  remnants  unexpectedly  among  the  granites  of  the 
Rockies  and  the  Sierra,  and  the  sedimentary  rocks  of 
the  west  and  the  southwest.  Several  of  our  national 
parks  besides  those  prevailingly  volcanic,  and  several 
of  our  most  distinguished  national  monuments,  ex 
hibit  interesting  volcanic  interludes. 



BECAUSE  most  of  the  conspicuous  volcanic  erup 
tions  of  our  day  have  occurred  in  warmer  climes 
nearer  the  equator,  we  usually  think  of  volcanoes  as 
tropical,  or  semi-tropical,  phenomena.  Vesuvius  is  in 
the  Mediterranean,  Pelee  in  the  Caribbean,  Mauna 
Loa  and  Kilauea  on  the  Hawaiian  Islands.  Of  course 
there  is  Lassen  Peak  in  California — the  exception,  as 
we  say,  which  proves  the  rule. 

As  a  fact,  many  of  the  world's  greatest  volcanoes 
are  very  far  indeed  from  the  tropics.  Volcanoes  result 
from  the  movement  of  earth  masses  seeking  equilib 
rium  underneath  earth's  crust,  but  near  enough  to  the 
surface  to  enable  molten  rock  under  terrific  pressure 
to  work  upward  from  isolated  pockets  and  break 
through.  Volcanoes  occur  in  all  latitudes.  Even 
Iceland  has  its  great  volcano.  It  is  true  that  the  vol 
cano  map  shows  them  congregating  thickly  in  a  broad 
band,  of  which  the  equator  is  the  centre,  but  it  also 
shows  them  bordering  the  Pacific  Coast  from  Pata 
gonia  to  Alaska,  crossing  the  ocean  through  the  Aleu 
tian  Islands,  and  extending  far  down  the  Asian  coast. 
It  also  shows  many  inland  volcanoes,  isolated  and  in 

series.    The  distribution  is  exceedingly  wide. 



Volcanoes  usually  occur  in  belts  which  may  or 
may  not  coincide  with  lines  of  weakening  in  the  earth's 
crust  below.  Hence  the  series  of  flaming  torches  of 
prehistoric  days  which,  their  fires  now  extinguished 
and  their  sides  swathed  in  ice,  have  become  in  our  day 
the  row  of  spectacular  peaks  extending  from  northern 
California  to  Puget  Sound.  Hence  also  the  long  range 
of  threatening  summits  which  skirts  Alaska's  southern 
shore,  to-day  the  world's  most  active  volcanic  belt. 
Here  it  was  that  Katmai's  summit  was  lost  in  the 
mighty  explosion  of  June,  1912,  one  of  enormous 
violence,  which  followed  tremendous  eruptions  else 
where  along  the  same  coast,  and  is  expected  to  be  fol 
lowed  by  others,  perhaps  of  even  greater  immensity 
and  power. 

These  two  volcanic  belts  contain  each  an  active 
volcano  which  Congress  has  made  the  centre  of  a 
national  reservation.  Lassen  Peak,  some  wise  men 
believe,  is  the  last  exhibit  of  activity  in  the  dying 
volcanism  of  the  Cascade  Mountains.  Mount  Kat- 
mai  is  the  latest  and  greatest  exhibit  in  a  volcanic  belt 
which  is  believed  to  be  young  and  growing. 


Millions  of  years  ago,  in  the  period  which  geolo 
gists  call  Tertiary,  the  pressure  under  that  part  of  the 
crust  of  the  earth  which  now  is  Washington,  Oregon, 
and  northern  California,  became  too  powerful  for  solid 
rock  to  withstand.  Long  lines  of  hills  appeared  parallel 
to  the  sea,  and  gradually  rose  hundreds,  and  perhaps 


thousands,  of  feet.  These  cracked,  and  from  the  long 
summit-fissures  issued  hot  lava,  which  spread  over 
enormous  areas  and,  cooling,  laid  the  foundations  for 
the  coming  Cascade  Mountains. 

When  the  gaping  fissures  eased  the  pressure  from 
beneath,  they  filled  with  ash  and  lava  except  at  cer 
tain  vent  holes,  around  which  grew  the  volcanoes 
which,  when  their  usefulness  as  chimneys  passed,  be 
came  those  cones  of  ice  and  snow  which  noV  are  the 
glory  of  our  northwest. 

There  may  have  been  at  one  time  many  hundreds 
of  these  volcanoes,  big  and  little.  Most  of  them 
doubtless  quickly  perished  under  the  growing  slopes  of 
their  larger  neighbors,  and,  as  they  became  choked 
with  ash,  the  lava  which  had  been  finding  vent  through 
them  sought  other  doors  of  escape,  and  found  them  in 
the  larger  volcanoes.  Thus,  by  natural  selection, 
there  survived  at  last  that  knightly  company  of  mon 
sters  now  uniformed  in  ice,  which  includes,  from  north 
to  south,  such  celebrities  as  Mount  Baker,  Mount 
Rainier,  Mount  Adams,  Mount  St.  Helens,  Mount 
Hood,  vanished  Mount  Mazama,  •  Mount  Shasta,  and 
living  Lassen  Peak. 

Whether  or  not  several  of  these  vast  beacons  lit 
Pacific's  nights  at  one  time  can  never  be  known  with 
certainty,  but  probability  makes  the  claim.  Whether 
or  not  in  their  decline  the  canoes  of  prehistoric  men 
found  harbor  by  guidance  of  their  pillars  of  fire  by 
night,  and  their  pillars  of  smoke  by  day  is  less  proba 
ble  but  possible.  One  at  least  of  the  giant  band, 


Lassen  Peak,  is  semi-active  to-day.  At  least  two 
others,  Mount  Rainier  and  Mount  Baker,  offer  evi 
dences  of  internal  heat  beneath  their  mail  of  ice.  And 
early  settlers  in  the  northwest  report  Indian  traditions 
of  the  awful  cataclysm  in  which  Mount  Rainier  lost 
two  thousand  feet  of  cone. 


Lassen  Peak,  the  last  of  the  Cascades  in  active 
eruption,  rises  between  the  northern  end  of  the  Sierra 
Nevada  Mountains,  of  which  it  is  locally  but  wrongly 
considered  a  part,  and  the  Klamath  Mountains,  a 
spur  of  the  Cascades.  Actually  it  is  the  southern 
terminus  of  the  Cascades. 

Though  quiet  for  more  than  two  hundred  years, 
the  region  long  has  enjoyed  scientific  and  popular 
interest  because  it  possesses  hot  springs,  mud  vol 
canoes  and  other  minor  volcanic  phenomena,  and  par 
ticularly  because  its  cones,  which  are  easily  climbed 
and  studied,  have  remained  very  nearly  perfect.  Be 
sides  Lassen  Peak,  whose  altitude  is  10,437  ^eet,  there 
are  others  of  large  size  and  great  interest  close  by. 
Prospect  Peak  attains  the  altitude  of  9,200  feet; 
Harkness  Peak  9,000  feet;  and  Cinder  Cone,  a  speci 
men  of  unusual  beauty,  6,907  feet. 

Because  it  seemed  desirable  to  conserve  the  best 
two  of  these  examples  of  recent  volcanism,  President 
Taft  in  1906  created  the  Lassen  Peak  and  the  Cinder 
Cone  National  Monuments.  Doubtless  there  would 


have  been  no  change  in  the  status  of  these  reserva 
tions  had  not  Lassen  Peak  broken  its  long  sleep  in  the 
spring  of  1914  with  a  series  of  eruptions  covering  a  pe 
riod  of  nineteen  months.  This  centred  attention  upon 
the  region,  and  in  August,  1916,  Congress  created  the 
Lassen  Volcanic  National  Park,  a  reservation  of  a 
hundred  and  twenty-four  square  miles,  which  included 
both  national  monuments,  other  notable  cones  of  the 
neighborhood,  and  practically  all  the  hot  springs  and 
other  lesser  phenomena.  Four  months  after  the  cre 
ation  of  the  national  park  Lassen  Peak  ceased  activity 
with  its  two  hundred  and  twelfth  eruption.  It  is  not 
expected  to  resume.  For  some  years,  however,  sci 
entists  will  continue  to  class  it  as  semi-active. 

These  eruptions,  none  of  which  produced  any  con 
siderable  lava  flow,  are  regarded  as  probably  the  dying 
gasps  of  the  volcanic  energy  of  the  Cascades.  They 
began  in  May,  1914,  with  sharp  explosions  of  steam 
and  smoke  from  the  summit  crater.  The  news  aroused 
wide-spread  interest  throughout  the  United  States;  it 
was  the  first  volcanic  eruption  within  the  national 
boundaries.  During  the  following  summer  there  were 
thirty-eight  slight  similar  eruptions,  some  of  which 
scattered  ashes  in  the  neighborhood.  The  spectacle 
was  one  of  magnificence  because  of  the  heavy  columns 
of  smoke.  Eruptions  increased  in  frequency  with 
winter,  fifty-six  occurring  during  the  balance  of  the 

About  the  end  of  March,  1915,  according  to  Doctor 
J.  S.  Diller  of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey, 

m  a  photograph  bv  J.  S.  Diller  "  '     -     ' 

>      '  J  >   5      '   3     ' 

LASSEN  PEAK  SEEN  FROM  TEE  SOUTHWEST !   »'    >  2»,J    'V   '  ''^ 
1     .      -      '  »»^  »   ">  j     >    '  '     ' 

On  the  left  is  the  material  last  erupted  from  the  slope  of  the  peak'.     It  is  called  Chaos 

Prom  a  photograph  by  J.  S.  Diller 

Showing  the  northeast  slope  as  seen  from  Chaos 


new  lava  had  filled  the  crater  and  overflowed  the  west 
slope  a  thousand  feet.  On  May  22  following  occurred 
the  greatest  eruption  of  the  series.  A  mushroom- 
shaped  cloud  of  smoke  burst  four  miles  upward  in  air. 
The  spectacle,  one  of  grandeur,  was  plainly  visible 
even  from  the  Sacramento  Valley.  "  At  night,"  writes 
Doctor  Diller,  "flashes  of  light  from  the  mountain 
summit,  flying  rocket-like  bodies  and  cloud-glows  over 
the  crater  reflecting  the  light  from  incandescent  lavas 
below,  were  seen  by  many  observers  from  various  points 
of  view,  and  .  appear  to  indicate  that  much  of  the 
material  erupted  was  sufficiently  hot  to  be  luminous." 

Another  interesting  phenomenon  was  the  blast  of 
superheated  gas  which  swept  down  Lost  Creek  and 
Hot  Creek  Valleys.  For  ten  miles  it  withered  and 
destroyed  every  living  thing  in  its  path.  Large  trees 
were  uprooted.  Forests  were  scorched  to  a  cinder. 
Snow-fields  were  instantly  turned  to  water  and  flooded 
the  lower  valleys  with  rushing  tides. 

Later  examination  showed  that  this  explosion  had 
opened  a  new  fissure,  and  that  the  old  and  new  craters, 
now  joined  in  one,  were  filled  with  a  lava  lid.  Follow 
ing  this,  the  eruptions  steadily  declined  in  violence  till 
their  close  the  following  December. 

As  a  national  park,  though  undeveloped  and  un 
equipped  as  yet,  Lassen  has  many  charms  besides  its 
volcanic  phenomena.  Its  western  and  southern  slopes 
are  thickly  forested  and  possess  fine  lakes  and  streams. 
Several  thousand  persons,  largely  motorists,  have  vis 
ited  it  yearly  of  late.  There  are  hot  springs  at  Drakes- 


bad,  just  within  the  southern  border,  which  have  local 
popularity  as  baths.  The  trout-fishing  in  lake  and 
stream  is  excellent,  and  shooting  is  encouraged  in  the 
extensive  national  forest  which  surrounds  the  park, 
but  not  in  the  park  itself,  which  is  sanctuary.  In  spite 
of  the  hunting,  deer  are  still  found. 

The  greatest  pleasure,  however,  will  be  found  in 
exploring  the  volcanoes,  from  whose  summits  views 
are  obtainable  of  many  miles  of  this  tumbled  and 
splendidly  forested  part  of  California  and  of  the  dry 
plains  of  the  Great  Basin  on  its  east. 


We  turn  from  the  dying  flutter  of  California's 
last  remaining  active  volcano  to  the  excessive  violence 
of  a  volcano  in  the  extremely  active  Alaskan  coast 
range.  The  Mount  Katmai  National  Monument  will 
have  few  visitors  because  it  is  inaccessible  by  anything 
less  than  an  exploring-party.  We  know  it  principally 
from  the  reports  of  four  expeditions  by  the  National 
Geographic  Society.  Informed  by  these  reports,  Presi 
dent  Wilson  created  it  a  national  monument  hi  1918. 

A  remarkable  volcanic  belt  begins  in  southern 
Alaska  at  the  head  of  Cook  Inlet,  and  follows  the  coast 
in  a  broad  southwesterly  curve  fifteen  hundred  miles 
long  through  the  Alaskan  Peninsula  to  the  end  of  the 
Aleutian  Islands,  nearly  enclosing  Behring  Sea.  It  is 
very  ancient.  Its  mainland  segment  contains  a  dozen 
peaks,  which  are  classed  as  active  or  latent,  and  its 
island  segment  many  other  volcanoes.  St.  Augustine's 


eruption  in  1883  was  one  of  extreme  violence.  Kugak 
was  active  in  1889.  Veniaminof  s  eruption  in  1892 
ranked  with  St.  Augustine's.  Redoubt  erupted  in 
1902,  and  Katmai,  with  excessive  violence,  in  June, 
1912.  The  entire  belt  is  alive  with  volcanic  excite 
ment.  Pavlof ,  at  the  peninsula's  end,  has  been  steam 
ing  for  years,  and  several  others  are  under  expectant 
scientific  observation.  Katmai  may  be  outdone  at 
any  time. 

Katmai  is  a  peak  of  6,970  feet  altitude,  on  treach 
erous  Shelikof  Strait,  opposite  Kodiak  Island.  It  rises 
from  an  inhospitable  shore  far  from  steamer  routes  or 
other  recognized  lines  of  travel.  Until  it  announced 
itself  with  a  roar  which  was  heard  at  Juneau,  seven 
hundred  and  fifty  miles  away,  its  very  existence  was 
probably  unknown  except  to  a  few  prospectors,  fisher 
men,  geographers,  and  geologists.  Earthquakes  fol 
lowed  the  blast,  then  followed  night  of  smoke  and 
dust.  Darkness  lasted  sixty  hours  at  Kodiak,  a  hun 
dred  miles  away.  Dust  fell  as  far  as  Ketchikan,  nine 
hundred  miles  away.  Fumes  were  borne  on  the  wind 
as  •  far  as  Vancouver  Island,  fifteen  hundred  miles 
away.  Weather  Bureau  reports  noted  haziness  as 
far  away  as  Virginia  during  succeeding  weeks,  and  the 
extraordinary  haziness  hi  Europe  during  the  following 
summer  is  noted  by  Doctor  C.  S.  Abbott,  Director  of 
the  Astrophysical  Observatory  of  the  Smithsonian 
Institution,  in  connection  with  this  eruption. 

Nevertheless,  Katmai's  is  by  no  means  the  great 
est  volcanic  eruption.  Katmai 's  output  of  ash  was 


about  five  cubic  miles.  Several  eruptions  have  greatly 
exceeded  that  in  bulk,  notably  that  of  Tomboro,  in  the 
island  of  Sumbawa,  near  Java,  in  1815,  when  more  than 
twenty-eight  cubic  miles  of  ash  were  flung  to  the  winds. 
Comparison  with  many  great  eruptions  whose  output 
was  principally  lava  is  of  course  impossible. 

The  scene  of  this  explosion  is  the  national  monu 
ment  of  to-day.  The  hollowed  shell  of  Katmai's 
summit  is  a  spectacle  of  wonderment  and  grandeur. 
Robert  F.  Griggs,  who  headed  the  expeditions  which 
explored  it,  states  that  the  area  of  the  crater  is  8.4 
square  miles,  measured  along  the  highest  point  of  the 
rim.  The  abyss  is  2.6  miles  long,  7.6  miles  in  circum 
ference,  and  4.2  square  miles  in  area.  A  lake  has 
formed  within  it  which  is  1.4  miles  long  and  nine- 
tenths  of  a  mile  wide.  Its  depth  is  unknown.  The 
precipice  from  the  lake  to  the  highest  point  of  the  rim 
measures  thirty-seven  hundred  feet. 

The  most  interesting  exhibit  of  the  Katmai  Na 
tional  Monument,  however,  is  a  group  of  neighboring 
valleys  just  across  the  western  divide,  the  principal  one 
of  which  Mr.  Griggs,  with  picturesque  inaccuracy, 
named  the  "Valley  of  Ten  Thousand  Smokes";  for, 
from  its  floor  and  sides  and  the  floors  and  sides  of 
smaller  tributary  valleys,  superheated  steam  issues  in 
thousands  of  hissing  columns.  It  is  an  appalling 
spectacle.  The  temperatures  of  this  steam  are  ex 
tremely  high;  Griggs  reports  one  instance  of  432  de 
grees  Centigrade,  which  would  equal  948  degrees 
Fahrenheit;  in  some  vents  he  found  a  higher  tempera- 


ture  at  the  surface  than  a  few  feet  down  its  throat. 
The  very  ground  is  hot. 

This  phenomenal  valley  is  not  to  be  fully  explained 
offhand;  as  Griggs  says,  there  are  many  problems  to 
work  out.  The  steam  vents  appear  to  be  very  recent. 
They  did  not  exist  when  Spurr  crossed  the  valley  in 
1898,  and  Martin  heard  nothing  of  them  when  he  was 
in  the  near  neighborhood  in  1903  and  1904.  The  same 
volcanic  impulse  which  found  its  main  relief  in  the  ex 
plosive  eruption  of  near-by  Katmai  in  1912  no  doubt 
cracked  the  deep-lying  rocks  beneath  this  group  of 
valleys,  exposing  super-heated  rocks  to  subterranean 
waters  which  forthwith  turned  to  steam  and  forced 
these  vents  for  escape.  Griggs  reports  that  volcanic 
gases  mingle  freely  with  the  steam. 

The  waters  may  have  one  or  more  of  several 
sources;  perhaps  they  come  from  deep  springs  originat 
ing  in  surface  snows  and  rains;  perhaps  they  seep  in 
from  the  sea.  Whatever  their  origin  the  region  espe 
cially  interests  us  a£  a  probably  early  stage  of  phenom 
ena  whose  later  stages  find  conspicuous  examples  in 
several  of  our  national  parks.  Some  day,  with  the 
cooling  of  the  region,  this  may  become  the  valley  of 
ten  thousand  hot  springs. 

But  it  is  useful  and  within  scientific  probability 
to  carry  this  conception  much  further.  The  com 
parison  between  Katmai's  steaming  valleys  and  the 
geyser  basin  of  Yellowstone  is  especially  instructive 
because  Yellowstone's  basins  doubtless  once  were 
what  Katmai 's  steaming  valleys  are  now.  The  "Val- 


ley  of  Ten  Thousand  Smokes "  may  well  be  a  coming 
geyser-field  of  enormous  size.  The  explanation  is 
simple.  Bunsen's  geyser  theory,  now  generally  ac 
cepted,  presupposes  a  column  of  water  filling  the  gey 
ser  vent  above  a  deep  rocky  superheated  chamber,  in 
which  entering  water  is  being  rapidly  turned  into 
steam.  When  this  steam  becomes  plentiful  enough 
and  sufficiently  compressed  to  overcome  the  weight  of 
the  water  hi  the  vent,  it  suddenly  expands  and  hurls 
the  water  out.  That  is  what  makes  the  geyser  play. 

Now  one  difference  between  the  Yellowstone  gey 
ser-fields  and  Katmai's  steaming  valleys  is  just  a  dif 
ference  in  temperature.  The  entire  depth  of  earth 
under  these  valleys  is  heated  far  above  boiling-point, 
so  that  it  is  not  possible  for  water  to  remain  in  the 
vents;  it  turns  to  steam  as  fast  as  it  collects  and 
rushes  out  at  the  top  in  continuous  flow.  But  when 
enough  thousands  of  centuries  elapse  for  the  rocks 
between  the  surface  and  the  deep  internal  pockets 
to  cool,  the  water  will  remain  in  many  vents  as  water 
until,  at  regular  intervals,  enough  steam  gathers  be 
low  to  hurl  it  out.  Then  these  valleys  will  become 
basins  of  geysers  and  hot  springs  like  Yellowstone's. 




MOUNT  RAINIER,  the  loftiest  volcano  within 
the  boundaries  of  the  United  States,  one  of  our 
greatest  mountains,  and  certainly  our  most  imposing 
mountain,  rises  from  western  central  Washington  to 
an  altitude  of  14,408  feet  above  mean  tide  in  Puget 
Sound.  It  is  forty-two  miles  in  direct  line  from  the 
centre  of  Tacoma,  and  fifty-seven  miles  from  Seattle, 
from  both  of  which  its  glistening  peak  is  often  a  promi 
nent  spectacle.  With  favoring  atmospheric  condi 
tions  it  can  be  seen  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles  away. 

North  and  south  of  Rainier,  the  Cascade  Moun 
tains  bear  other  snow-capped  volcanic  peaks.  Baker 
rises  10,703  feet;  Adams,  12,307  feet;  St.  Helens, 
9,697  feet;  Hood,  11,225  ^eet>  and  Shasta,  14,162 
feet.  But  Rainier  surpasses  them  all  in  height,  bulk, 
and  majesty.  Once  it  stood  16,000  feet,  as  is  indicated 
by  the  slopes  leading  up  to  its  broken  and  flattened 
top.  The  supposition  is  that  nearly  two  thousand 
feet  of  its  apex  were  carried  away  in  one  or  more 
explosive  eruptions  long  before  history,  but  possibly 
not  before  man;  there  are  Indian  traditions  of  a 



cataclysm.  There  were  slight  eruptions  in  1843, 
1858,  and  1870,  and  from  the  two  craters  at  its  sum 
mit  issue  many  jets  of  steam  which  comfort  the  chilled 

This  immense  sleeping  cone  is  blanketed  in  ice. 
Twenty-eight  well-defined  glaciers  flow  down  its 
sides,  several  of  which  are  nearly  six  miles  long. 
Imagining  ourselves  looking  down  from  an  airplane  at 
a  great  height,  we  can  think  of  seeing  it  as  an  enor 
mous  frozen  octopus  sprawling  upon  the  grass,  for  its 
curving  arms  of  ice,  reaching  out  in  all  directions, 
penetrate  one  of  the  finest  forests  even  of  our  north 
west.  The  contrast  between  these  cold  glaciers  and 
the  luxuriantly  wild-flowered  and  forest-edged  meadows 
which  border  them  as  snugly  as  so  many  rippling 
summer  rivers  affords  one  of  the  most  delightful  fea 
tures  of  the  Mount  Rainier  National  Park.  Paradise 
Inn,  for  example,  stands  in  a  meadow  of  wild  flowers 
between  Rainier's  icy  front  on  the  one  side  and  the 
snowy  Tatoosh  Range  on  the  other,  with  the  Nis- 
qually  Glacier  fifteen  minutes'  walk  away  ! 

The  casual  tourist  who  has  looked  at  the  Snowy 
Range  of  the  Rockies  from  the  distant  comfort  of 
Estes  Park,  or  the  High  Sierra  from  the  dining-porch 
of  the  Glacier  Point  Hotel,  receives  an  invigorating 
shock  of  astonishment  at  beholding  Mount  Rainier 
even  at  a  distance.  Its  isolation  gives  it  enormous 
scenic  advantage.  Mount  Whitney  of  the  Sierra,  our 
loftiest  summit,  which  overtops  it  ninety-three  feet, 
is  merely  the  climax  in  a  tempestuous  ocean  of  snowy 


neighbors  which  are  only  less  lofty;  Rainier  towers 
nearly  eight  thousand  feet  above  its  surrounding 
mountains.  It  springs  so  powerfully  into  the  air  that 
one  involuntarily  looks  for  signs  of  life  and  action. 
But  no  smoke  rises  from  its  broken  top.  It  is  still 
and  helpless,  shackled  in  bonds  of  ice.  Will  it  remain 
bound  ?  Or  will  it,  with  due  warning,  destroy  in  a  day 
the  elaborate  system  of  glaciers  which  countless  cen 
turies  have  built,  and  leave  a  new  and  different,  and 
perhaps,  after  years  of  glacial  recovery,  even  a  more 
gloriously  beautiful  Mount  Rainier  than  now? 

The  extraordinary  individuality  of  the  American 
national  parks,  their  difference,  each  from  every  other, 
is  nowhere  more  marked  than  here.  Single-peaked 
glacial  systems  of  the  size  of  Rainier's,  of  course,  are 
found  wherever  mountains  of  great  size  rise  in  close 
masses  far  above  the  line  of  perpetual  snow.  The 
Alaskan  Range  and  the  Himalayas  may  possess  many. 
But  if  there  is  anywhere  another  mountain  of  approxi 
mate  height  and  magnitude,  carrying  an  approximate 
glacier  system,  which  rises  eight  thousand  feet  higher 
than  its  neighbors  out  of  a  parkland  of  lakes,  forests, 
and  wild-flower  gardens,  which  Nature  seems  to  have 
made  especially  for  pleasuring,  and  the  heart  of  which 
is  reached  in  four  hours  from  a  large  city  situated  upon 
transatlantic  railway-lines,  I  have  not  heard  of  it. 

Seen  a  hundred  miles  away,  or  from  the  streets  of 
Seattle  and  Tacoma,  or  from  the  motor-road  approach 
ing  the  park,  or  from  the  park  itself,  or  from  any  of 
the  many  interglacier  valleys,  one  never  gets  used  to 


the  spectacle  of  Rainier.  The  shock  of  surprise,  the 
instant  sense  of  impossibility,  ever  repeats  itself.  The 
mountain  assumes  a  thousand  aspects  which  change 
with  the  hours,  with  the  position  of  the  beholder,  and 
with  atmospheric  conditions.  Sometimes  it  is  fairy- 
like,  sometimes  threatening,  always  majestic.  One  is 
not  surprised  at  the  Indian's  fear.  Often  Rainier 
withdraws  his  presence  altogether  behind  the  horizon 
mists;  even  a  few  miles  away  no  hint  betrays  his  ex 
istence.  And  very  often,  shrouded  in  snow-storm  or 
cloud,  he  is  lost  to  those  at  his  foot. 

Mysterious  and  compelling  is  this  ghostly  moun 
tain  to  us  who  see  it  for  the  first  time,  unable  to  look 
long  away  while  it  remains  in  view.  It  is  the  same, 
old  Washingtonians  tell  me,  with  those  who  have  kept 
watching  it  every  day  of  visibility  for  many  years. 
And  so  it  was  to  Captain  George  Vancouver  when, 
first  of  white  men,  he  looked  upon  it  from  the  bridge 
of  the  Discovery  on  May  8,  1792. 

"The  weather  was  serene  and  pleasant,"  he  wrote 
under  that  date,  "and  the  country  continued  to  ex 
hibit,  between  us  and  the  eastern  snowy  range,  the 
same  luxuriant  appearance.  At  its  eastern  extremity, 
mount  Baker  bore  by  compass  N.  22  E.;  the  round 
snowy  mountain,  now  forming  its  southern  extremity, 
and  which,  after  my  friend  Rear  Admiral  Rainier,  I 
distinguished  by  the  name  of  MOUNT  RAINIER,  bore 
N.  (S.)  42  E." 

Thus  Mount  Rainier  was  discovered  and  named 
at  the  same  time,  presumably  on  the  same  day. 

From  a  photograph  by  A.  II.  Barnes 

The  winding  glacier  is  the  Cowlitz.     Gibraltar  is  the  rock  on  the  right  near  the  summit 


Eighteen  days  later,  having  followed  "the  inlet," 
meaning  Puget  Sound,  to  his  point  of  nearest  approach 
to  the  mountain,  Vancouver  wrote: 

"We  found  the  inlet  to  terminate  here  in  an  ex 
tensive  circular  compact  bay  whose  waters  washed  the 
base  of  mount  Rainier,  though  its  elevated  summit 
was  yet  at  a  very  considerable  distance  from  the 
shore,  with  which  it  was  connected  by  several  ridges 
of  hills  rising  towards  it  with  gradual  ascent  and  much 
regularity.  The  forest  trees  and  the  several  shades 
of  verdure  that  covered  the  hills  gradually  decreased 
in  point  of  beauty  until  they  became  invisible;  when 
the  perpetual  clothing  of  snow  commenced  which 
seemed  to  form  a  horizontal  line  from  north  to  south 
along  this  range  of  rugged  mountains,  from  whose 
summit  mount  Rainier  rose  conspicuously,  and  seemed 
as  much  elevated  above  them  as  they  were  above  the 
level  of  the  sea;  the  whole  producing  a  most  grand, 
picturesque  effect." 

Vancouver  made  no  attempt  to  reach  the  moun 
tain.  Dreamer  of  great  dreams  though  he  was,  how 
like  a  madhouse  nightmare  would  have  seemed  to 
him  a  true  prophecy  of  mighty  engines  whose  like  no 
human  mind  had  then  conceived,  running  upon  roads 
of  steel  and  asphalt  at  speeds  which  no  human  mind 
had  then  imagined,  whirling  thousands  upon  thou 
sands  of  pleasure-seekers  from  the  shores  of  that  very 
inlet  to  the  glistening  mountain's  flowered  sides ! 

Just  one  century  after  the  discovery,  the  Geologi 
cal  Society  of  America  started  the  movement  to  make 


Mount  Rainier  a  national  park.  Within  a  year  the 
American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science, 
the  National  Geographic  Society,  the  Appalachian 
Mountain  Club,  and  the  Sierra  Club  joined  in  the 
memorialization  of  Congress.  Six  years  later,  in  1899, 
the  park  was  created. 


The  principal  entrance  to  the  park  is  up  the  Nis- 
qually  River  at  the  south.  Here  entered  the  pioneer, 
James  Longmire,  many  years  ago,  and  the  roads  estab 
lished  by  him  and  his  fellows  determined  the  direction 
of  the  first  national-park  development.  Longmire 
Springs,  for  many  years  the  nearest  resort  to  the  great 
mountain,  lies  just  within  the  southern  boundary. 
Beyond  it  the  road  follows  the  Nisqually  and  Paradise 
valleys,  under  glorious  groves  of  pine,  cedar,  and  hem 
lock,  along  ravines  of  striking  beauty,  past  waterfalls 
and  the  snout  of  the  Nisqually  Glacier,  finally  to  in 
imitable  Paradise  Park,  its  inn,  its  hotel  camp,  and  its 
public  camping-grounds.  Other  centres  of  wilderness 
life  have  been  since  established,  and  the  marvel 
lous  north  side  of  the  park  will  be  opened  by  the  con 
struction  of  a  northwesterly  highway  up  the  valley  of 
the  Carbon  River;  already  a  fine  trail  entirely  around 
the  mountain  connects  these  various  points  of  devel 

But  the  southern  entrance  and  Paradise  Park  will 
remain  for  many  years  the  principal  centre  of  explora 
tion  and  pleasuring.  Here  begins  the  popular  trail  to 


the  summit.  Here  begin  the  trails  to  many  of  the 
finest  view-points,  the  best-known  falls,  the  most  acces 
sible  of  the  many  exquisite  interglacier  gardens.  Here 
the  Nisqually  Glacier  is  reached  in  a  few  minutes'  walk 
at  a  point  particularly  adapted  for  ice-climbing,  and 
the  comfortable  viewing  of  ice-falls,  crevasses,  caves, 
and  other  glacier  phenomena  grandly  exhibited  in 
fullest  beauty.  It  is  a  spot  which  can  have  in  the 
nature  of  things  few  equals  elsewhere  in  scenic  variety 
and  grandeur.  On  one  side  is  the  vast  glistening 
mountain;  on  the  other  side  the  high  serrated  Tatoosh 
Range  spattered  with  perpetual  snow;  in  middle 
distance,  details  of  long  winding  glaciers  seamed  with 
crevasses;  in  the  foreground  gorgeous  rolling  meadows 
of  wild  flowers  dotted  and  bordered  with  equally 
luxuriant  and  richly  varied  forest  groves;  from  close-by 
elevations,  a  gorgeous  tumbled  wilderness  of  hills, 
canyons,  rivers,  lakes,  and  falls  backgrounded  by  the 
Cascades  and  accented  by  distant  snowy  peaks;  the 
whole  pervaded  by  the  ever-present  mountain,  always 
the  same  yet  grandly  different,  from  different  points 
of  view,  in  the  detail  of  its  glaciered  sides. 

The  variety  of  pleasuring  is  similarly  very  large. 
One  can  ride  horseback  round  the  mountain  in  a 
leisurely  week,  or  spend  a  month  or  more  exploring  the 
greater  wilderness  of  the  park.  One  can  tramp  the 
trails  on  long  trips,  camping  by  the  way,  or  vary  a 
vacation  with  numerous  short  tramps.  Or  one  can 
loaf  away  the  days  in  dreamy  content,  with  now  and 
then  a  walk,  and  now  and  then  a  ride.  Or  one  can 


explore  glaciers  and  climb  minor  mountains;  the 
Tatoosh  Range  alone  will  furnish  the  stiffest  as  well 
as  the  most  delightful  climbing,  with  wonderful  re 
wards  upon  the  jagged  summits;  while  short  climbs  to 
points  upon  near-by  snow-fields  will  afford  coasting 
without  sleds,  an  exciting  sport,  especially  appreciated 
when  one  is  young.  In  July,  before  the  valley  snows 
melt  away,  there  is  tobogganing  and  skiing  within  a 
short  walk  of  the  Inn. 

The  leisurely  tour  afoot  around  the  mountain, 
with  pack-train  following  the  trail,  is  an  experience 
never  to  be  forgotten.  One  passes  the  snouts  of  a 
score  of  glaciers,  each  producing  its  river,  and  sees  the 
mountain  from  every  angle,  besides  having  a  continu 
ous  panorama  of  the  surrounding  country,  including 
Mount  Adams,  Mount  St.  Helens,  Mount  Baker, 
Tacoma,  Seattle,  Mount  Olympus,  the  Pacific  Ocean, 
and  the  Cascades  from  the  Columbia  to  the  interna 
tional  line.  Shorter  excursions  to  other  beautiful  park- 
lands  offer  a  wide  variety  of  pleasure.  Indian  Henry's 
Hunting  Ground,  Van  Trump  Park,  Summerland,  and 
others  provide  charm  and  beauty  as  well  as  fascinating 
changes  in  the  aspect  of  the  great  mountain. 

Of  course  the  ascent  of  the  mountain  is  the  ulti 
mate  objective  of  the  climber,  but  few,  comparatively, 
will  attempt  it.  It  is  a  feat  in  endurance  which  not 
many  are  physically  fit  to  undertake,  while  to  the  un 
fit  there  are  no  rewards.  There  is  comparatively  little 
rock-climbing,  but  what  there  is  will  try  wind  and  mus 
cle.  Most  of  the  way  is  tramping  up  long  snow-covered 


and  ice-covered  slopes,  with  little  rest  from  the  start 
at  midnight  to  the  return,  if  all  goes  well,  before  the 
following  sundown.  Face  and  hands  are  painted  to 
protect  against  sunburn,  and  colored  glasses  avert 
snow-blindness.  Success  is  so  largely  a  matter  of 
physical  condition  that  many  ambitious  tourists  are 
advised  to  practise  awhile  on  the  Tatoosh  Range  be 
fore  attempting  the  trip. 

"Do  you  see  Pinnacle  Peak  up  there?"  they  ask 
you.  "If  you  can  make  that  you  can  make  Rainier. 
Better  try  it  first." 

And  many  who  try  Pinnacle  Peak  do  not  make  it. 

As  with  every  very  lofty  mountain  the  view  from 
the  summit  depends  upon  the  conditions  of  the  mo 
ment.  Often  Rainier's  summit  is  lost  in  mists  and 
clouds,  and  there  is  no  view.  Very  often  on  the  clear 
est  day  clouds  continually  gather  and  dissipate;  one 
is  lucky  in  the  particular  time  he  is  on  top.  Fre 
quently  there  are  partial  views.  Occasionally  every 
condition  favors,  and  then  indeed  the  reward  is  great. 
S.  F.  Emmons,  who  made  the  second  ascent,  and  after 
whom  one  of  Rainier's  greatest  glaciers  was  named, 
stood  on  the  summit  upon  one  of  those  fortunate  mo 
ments.  The  entire  mountain  in  all  its  inspiring  detail 
lay  at  his  feet,  a  wonder  spectacle  of  first  magnitude. 

"Looking  to  the  more  distant  country,"  he  wrote, 
"the  whole  stretch  of  Puget  Sound,  seeming  like  a 
pretty  little  lake  embowered  in  green,  could  be  seen 
in  the  northwest,  beyond  which  the  Olympic  Moun 
tains  extend  out  into  the  Pacific  Ocean.  The  Cascade 


Mountains,  lying  dwarfed  at  our  feet,  could  be  traced 
northward  into  British  Columbia  and  southward  into 
Oregon,  while  above  them,  at  comparatively  regular 
intervals,  rose  the  ghostlike  forms  of  our  companion 
volcanoes.  To  the  eastward  the  eye  ranged  over 
hundreds  of  miles,  over  chain  on  chain  of  mountain 
ridges  which  gradually  disappeared  in  the  dim  blue 

Notwithstanding  the  rigors  of  the  ascent  parties 
leave  Paradise  Inn  for  the  summit  every  suitable  day. 
Hundreds  make  the  ascent  each  summer.  To  the  ex 
perienced  mountain-climber  it  presents  no  special  diffi 
culties.  To  the  inexperienced  it  is  an  extraordinary 
adventure.  Certainly  no  one  knows  his  Mount  Rainier 
who  has  not  measured  its  gigantic  proportions  in  units 
of  his  own  endurance. 

The  first  successful  ascent  was  made  by  General 
Hazard  Stevens  and  P.  B.  Van  Trump,  both  residents 
of  Washington,  on  August  17,  1870.  Starting  from 
James  Longmire's  with  Mr.  Longmire  himself  as  guide 
up  the  Nisqually  Valley,  they  spent  several  days  in 
finding  the  Indian  Sluiskin,  who  should  take  them  to 
the  summit.  With  him,  then,  assuming  Longmire's 
place,  Stevens  and  Van  Trump  started  on  their  great 
adventure.  It  proved  more  of  an  adventure  than  they 
anticipated,  for  not  far  below  the  picturesque  falls 
which  they  named  after  Sluiskin,  the  Indian  stopped 
and  begged  them  to  go  no  farther.  From  that 
compilation  of  scholarly  worth,  by  Professor  Edmond 
S.  Meany,  President  of  the  Mountaineers,  entitled 


" Mount  Rainier,  a  Record  of  Exploration,"  I  quote 
General  Stevens's  translation  of  Sluiskin's  protest: 

"Listen  to  me,  my  good  friends/7  said  Sluiskin, 
"I  must  talk  with  you. 

"Your  plan  to  climb  Takhoma  is  all  foolishness. 
No  one  can  do  it  and  live.  A  mighty  chief  dwells 
upon  the  summit  in  a  lake  of  fire.  He  brooks  no 

"Many  years  ago  my  grandfather,  the  greatest 
and  bravest  chief  of  all  the  Yakima,  climbed  nearly  to 
the  summit.  There  he  caught  sight  of  the  fiery  lake 
and  the  infernal  demon  coming  to  destroy  him,  and 
fled  down  the  mountain,  glad  to  escape  with  his  life. 
Where  he  failed,  no  other  Indian  ever  dared  make  the 

"At  first  the  way  is  easy,  the  task  seems  light. 
The  broad  snow-fields  over  which  I  have  often  hunted 
the  mountain-goat  offer  an  inviting  path.  But  above 
them  you  will  have  to  climb  over  steep  rocks  over 
hanging  deep  gorges,  where  a  misstep  would  hurl  you 
far  down — down  to  certain  death.  You  must  creep 
over  steep  snow-banks  and  cross  deep  crevasses  where 
a  mountain-goat  would  hardly  keep  his  footing.  You 
must  climb  along  steep  cliffs  where  rocks  are  continu 
ally  falling  to  crush  you  or  knock  you  off  into  the  bot 
tomless  depths. 

"And  if  you  should  escape  these  perils  and  reach 
the  great  snowy  dome,  then  a  bitterly  cold  and  furious 
tempest  will  sweep  you  off  into  space  like  a  withered 
leaf.  But  if  by  some  miracle  you  should  survive  all 


these  perils,  the  mighty  demon  of  Takhoma  will  surely 
kill  you  and  throw  you  into  the  fiery  lake. 

"Don't  you  go.  You  make  my  heart  sick  when 
you  talk  of  climbing  Takhoma.  You  will  perish  if 
you  try  to  climb  Takhoma.  You  will  perish  and  your 
people  will  blame  me. 

"Don't  go!  Don't  go!  If  you  go  I  will  wait 
here  two  days  and  then  go  to  Olympia  and  tell  your 
people  that  you  perished  on  Takhoma.  Give  me  a 
paper  to  them  to  let  them  know  that  I  am  not  to 
blame  for  your  death.  My  talk  is  ended." 

Except  for  the  demon  and  his  lake  of  fire,  Sluiskin's 
portent  of  hardship  proved  to  be  a  literal,  even  a  mod 
est,  prophecy.  At  five  o'clock  in  the  evening,  after 
eleven  hours  of  struggle  with  precipices  and  glaciers, 
exhausted,  chilled,  and  without  food,  they  faced  a 
night  of  zero  gales  upon  the  summit.  The  discovery 
of  comforting  steam-jets  in  a  neighboring  crater,  the 
reality  perhaps  of  Sluiskin's  lake  of  fire,  made  the  night 
livable,  though  one  of  suffering.  It  was  afternoon  of 
the  following  day  before  they  reached  camp  and  found 
an  astonished  Sluiskin,  then,  in  fact,  on  the  point  of 
leaving  to  report  their  unfortunate  destruction. 

Stevens  and  Van  Trump  were  doubly  pioneers, 
for  their  way  up  the  mountain  is,  in  general  direction 
at  least,  the  popular  way  to-day,  greatly  bettered  since, 
however,  by  the  short  cuts  and  easier  detours  which 
have  followed  upon  experience. 



Our  four  volcanic  national  parks  exemplify  four 
states  of  volcanic  history.  Lassen  Peak  is  semiactive; 
Mount  Rainier  is  dormant;  Yellowstone  is  dead,  and 
Crater  Lake  marks  the  spot  through  which  a  volcano 
collapsed  and  disappeared.  Rainier  Js  usefulness  as  a 
volcanic  example,  however,  is  lost  in  its  supreme  use 
fulness  as  a  glacial  exhibit.  The  student  of  glaciers 
who  begins  here  with  the  glacier  in  action,  and  then 
studies  the  effects  of  glaciers  upon  igneous  rocks  among 
the  cirques  of  the  Sierra,  and  upon  sedimentary  rocks 
in  the  Glacier  National  Park,  will  study  the  masters; 
which,  by  the  way,  is  a  tip  for  universities  contem 
plating  summer  field-classes. 

Upon  the  truncated  top  of  Mount  Rainier,  nearly 
three  miles  in  diameter,  rise  two  small  cinder  cones 
which  form,  at  the  junction  of  their  craters,  the  moun 
tain's  rounded  snow-covered  summit.  It  is  known  as 
Columbia  Crest.  As  this  only  rises  four  hundred  feet 
above  the  older  containing  crater,  it  is  not  always 
identified  from  below  as  the  highest  point.  Two  com 
manding  rocky  elevations  of  the  old  rim,  Point  Suc 
cess  on  its  southwest  side,  14,150  feet,  and  Liberty 
Cap  on  its  northwest  side,  14,112  feet,  appear  to  be, 
from  the  mountain's  foot,  its  points  of  greatest  alti 

Rainier's  top,  though  covered  with  snow  and  ice, 
except  in  spots  bared  by  internal  heat,  is  not  the 
source  of  its  glaciers,  although  its  extensive  ice-fields 


flow  into  and  feed  several  of  them.  The  glaciers  them 
selves,  even  those  continuous  with  the  summit  ice, 
really  originate  about  four  thousand  feet  below  the 
top  in  cirques  or  pockets  which  are  principally  fed  with 
the  tremendous  snows  of  winter,  and  the  wind  sweep 
ings  and  avalanches  from  the  summit.  The  Pacific 
winds  are  charged  heavily  with  moisture  which  de 
scends  upon  Rainier  in  snows  of  great  depth.  Even 
Paradise  Park  is  snowed  under  from  twelve  to  thirty 
feet.  There  is  a  photograph  of  a  ranger  cabin  in 
February  which  shows  only  a  slight  snow-mound 
with  a  hole  in  its  top  which  locates  the  hidden  chim 
ney.  F.  E.  Matthes,  the  geologist,  tells  of  a  snow 
level  of  fifty  feet  depth  in  Indian  Henry's  Hunting 
Ground,  one  of  Rainier's  most  beautiful  parks,  in 
which  the  wind  had  sunk  a  crater-like  hollow  from  the 
bottom  of  which  emerged  a  chimney.  These  snows 
replenish  the  glaciers,  which  have  a  combined  surface 
of  forty-five  square  miles,  along  their  entire  length,  in 
addition  to  making  enormous  accumulations  in  the 

Beginning  then  in  its  cirque,  as  a  river  often  be 
gins  in  its  lake,  the  glacier  flows  downward,  river-like, 
along  a  course  of  least  resistance.  Here  it  pours  over 
a  precipice  in  broken  falls  to  flatten  out  in  perfect 
texture  in  the  even  stretch  below.  Here  it  plunges 
down  rapids,  breaking  into  crevasses  as  the  river  in 
corresponding  phase  breaks  into  ripples.  Here  it  rises 
smoothly  over  rocks  upon  its  bottom.  Here  it  strikes 
against  a  wall  of  rock  and  turns  sharply.  The  parallel 


m  * 

From  a  photograph  copyright  by  A.  II.  Barnes 



between  the  glacier  and  the  river  is  striking  and  con 
sistent,  notwithstanding  that  the  geologist  for  tech 
nical  reasons  will  quarrel  with  you  if  you  picturesquely 
call  your  glacier  a  river  of  ice.  Any  elevated  view 
point  will  disclose  several  or  many  of  these  mighty 
streams  flowing  in  snake-like  curves  down  the  moun 
tainside,  the  greater  streams  swollen  here  and  there 
by  tributaries  as  rivers  are  swollen  by  entering  creeks. 
And  all  eventually  reach  a  point,  determined  by  tem 
perature  and  therefore  not  constant,  where  the  river 
of  ice  becomes  the  river  of  water. 

Beginning  white  and  pure,  the  glacier  gradually 
clothes  itself  in  rock  and  dirt.  Gathering  as  it  moves 
narrow  edges  of  matter  filched  from  the  shores,  later 
on  it  heaps  these  up  upon  its  lower  banks.  They  are 
lateral  moraines.  Two  merging  glaciers  unite  the 
material  carried  on  their  joined  edges  and  form  a 
medial  moraine,  a  ribbon  broadening  and  thickening 
as  it  descends;  a  glacier  made  up  of  several  tributaries 
carries  as  many  medial  moraines.  It  also  carries 
much  unorganized  matter  fallen  from  the  cliffs  or 
scraped  from  the  bottom.  Approaching  the  snout,  all 
these  accumulations  merge  into  one  moraine;  and  so 
soiled  has  the  ice  now  become  that  it  is  difficult  to  tell 
which  is  ice  and  which  is  rock.  At  its  snout  is  an  ice- 
cave  far  inside  of  which  the  resultant  river  origi 

But  the  glacier  has  one  very  important  function 
which  the  river  does  not  share.  Far  up  at  its  begin 
nings  it  freezes  to  the  back  wall  of  its  cirque,  and, 


moving  forward,  pulls  out,  or  plucks  out,  as  the  ge 
ologists  have  it,  masses  of  rock  which  it  carries  away 
in  its  current.  The  resulting  cavities  in  the  back  of 
the  cirque  fill  with  ice,  which  in  its  turn  freezes  fast 
and  plucks  out  more  rock.  And  presently  the  back 
wall  of  the  cirque,  undermined,  falls  on  the  ice  and  also 
is  carried  away.  There  is  left  a  precipice,  often  sheerly 
perpendicular;  and,  as  the  process  repeats  itself,  this 
precipice  moves  backward.  At  the  beginning  of  this 
process,  it  must  be  understood,  the  glacier  lies  upon 
a  tilted  surface  far  more  elevated  than  now  when  you 
see  it  in  its  old  age,  sunk  deep  in  its  self -dug  trench; 
and,  while  it  is  plucking  backward  and  breaking  off  an 
ever-increasing  precipice  above  it,  it  is  plucking  down 
ward,  too.  If  the  rock  is  even  in  structure,  this  down 
ward  cutting  may  be  very  nearly  perpendicular,  but 
if  the  rock  lies  in  strata  of  varying  hardness,  shelves 
form  where  the  harder  strata  are  encountered  because 
it  takes  longer  to  cut  them  through;  in  this  way  are 
formed  the  long  series  of  steps  which  we  often  see  in 
empty  glacial  cirques. 

By  this  process  of  backward  and  downward  pluck 
ing,  the  Carbon  Glacier  bit  its  way  into  the  north  side 
of  the  great  volcano  until  it  invaded  the  very  founda 
tions  of  the  summit  and  created  the  Willis  Wall  which 
drops  avalanches  thirty-six  hundred  feet  to  the  glacier 
below.  Willis  Wall  is  nearly  perpendicular  because 
the  lava  rock  at  this  point  was  homogeneous.  But  in 
the  alternating  shale  and  limestone  strata  of  Glacier 
National  Park,  on  the  other  hand,  the  glaciers  of  old 

From  a  pJiotograph  by  Asahel  Curtis 


From  a  photograph  by  Jacobs 



dug  cirques  of  many  shelves.  The  monster  ice-streams 
which  dug  Glacier's  mighty  valleys  have  vanished,  but 
often  tiny  remainders  are  still  seen  upon  the  cirques' 
topmost  shelves. 

So  we  see  that  the  glacier  acquires  its  cargo  of 
rock  not  only  by  scraping  its  sides  and  plucking  it 
from  the  bottom  of  its  cirque  and  valley,  but  by 
quarrying  backward  till  undermined  material  drops 
upon  it;  all  of  this  in  fulfilment  of  Nature's  purpose 
of  wearing  down  the  highlands  for  the  upbuilding  of 
the  hollows. 

This  is  not  the  place  for  a  detailed  description  of 
Mount  Rainier's  twenty-eight  glaciers.  A  glance  at 
the  map  will  tell  something  of  the  story.  Extending 
northeasterly  from  the  summit  will  be  seen  the  greatest 
unbroken  glacial  mass.  Here  are  the  Emmons  and  the 
Winthrop  Glaciers,  much  the  largest  of  all.  This  is 
the  quarter  farthest  from  the  sun,  upon  which  its  rays 
strike  at  the  flattest  angle.  The  melting  then  is  least 
here.  But  still  a  more  potent  reason  for  their  larger 
mass  is  found  in  their  position  on  the  lee  quarter  of 
the  peak,  the  prevailing  winds  whirling  in  the  snow 
from  both  sides. 

The  greater  diversification  of  the  other  sides  of 
the  mountain  with  extruding  cliffs,  cleavers,  and  enor 
mous  rock  masses  tends  strongly  to  scenic  variety  and 
grandeur.  Some  of  the  rock  cleavers  which  divide 
glaciers  stand  several  thousand  feet  in  height,  verita 
ble  fences.  Some  of  the  cliffs  would  be  mountains  of 
no  mean  size  elsewhere,  and  around  their  sides  pour 


mighty  glacial  currents,  cascading  to  the  depths  below 
where  again  they  may  meet  and  even  merge. 

The  Nisqually  Glacier  naturally  is  the  most  cele 
brated,  not  because  of  scenic  superiority,  but  because 
it  is  the  neighbor  and  the  playground  of  the  visiting 
thousands.  Its  perfect  and  wonderful  beauty  are  not 
in  excess  of  many  others;  and  it  is  much  smaller  than 
many.  The  Cowlitz  Glacier  near  by  exceeds  it  in 
size,  and  is  one  of  the  stateliest;  it  springs  from  a 
cirque  below  Gibraltar,  a  massive  near-summit  rock, 
whose  well-deserved  celebrity  is  due  in  some  part  to 
its  nearness  to  the  travelled  summit  trail.  The  point 
I  am  making  is  not  in  depreciation  of  any  of  the  cele 
brated  sights  from  the  southern  side,  but  in  emphasis 
of  the  fact  that  a  hundred  other  sights  would  be  as 
celebrated,  or  more  celebrated,  were  they  as  well  known. 
The  Mount  Rainier  National  Park  at  this  writing  is 
replete  with  splendors  which  are  yet  to  be  discovered 
by  the  greater  travelling  public. 

The  great  north  side,  for  instance,  with  its  mighty 
walls,  its  magnificently  scenic  glaciers,  its  lakes,  can 
yons,  and  enormous  areas  of  flowered  and  forested 
pleasure-grounds,  is  destined  to  wide  development; 
it  is  a  national  park  in  itself.  Already  roads  enter  to 
camps  at  the  foot  of  great  glaciers.  The  west  side, 
also,  with  its  four  spectacular  glaciers  which  pass  un 
der  the  names  of  Mowich  and  Tahoma,  attains  sublim 
ity;  it  remains  also  for  future  occupation. 

Many  of  the  minor  phenomena,  while  common 
also  to  other  areas  of  snow  and  ice,  have  fascination 


for  the  visitor.  Snow-cups  are  always  objects  of  in 
terest  and  beauty.  Instead  of  reducing  a  snow  sur 
face  evenly,  the  warm  sun  sometimes  melts  it  in  pat 
terned  cups  set  close  together  like  the  squares  of  a 
checker-board.  These  deepen  gradually  till  they  sug 
gest  a  gigantic  honeycomb,  whose  cells  are  sometimes 
several  feet  deep.  In  one  of  these,  one  summer  day 
in  the  Sierra,  I  saw  a  stumbling  horse  deposit  his  rider, 
a  high  official  of  one  of  our  Western  railroads;  and 
there  he  sat  helpless,  hands  and  feet  emerging  from  the 
top,  until  we  recovered  enough  from  laughter  to  help 
him  out. 

Pink  snow  always  arouses  lively  interest.  A  mi 
croscopic  plant,  Protococcus  nivalis,  growing  in  occa 
sional  patches  beneath  the  surface  of  old  snow  grad 
ually  emerges  with  a  pink  glow  which  sometimes 
covers  acres.  On  the  tongue  its  flavor  suggests  water 
melon.  No  doubt  many  other  microscopic  plants 
thrive  in  the  snow-fields  and  glaciers  which  remain  in 
visible  for  lack  of  color.  Insects  also  inhabit  these 
glaciers.  There  are  several  Thysanura,  which  suggest 
the  sand-fleas  of  our  seashores,  but  are  seldom  noticed 
because  of  their  small  size.  More  noticeable  are  the 
Mesenchytraeus,  a  slender  brown  worm,  which  attains 
the  length  of  an  inch.  They  may  be  seen  in  great 
numbers  on  the  lower  glaciers  in  the  summer,  but  on 
warm  days  retreat  well  under  the  surface. 



The  extraordinary  forest  luxuriance  at  the  base 
of  Mount  Rainier  is  due  to  moisture  and  climate.  The 
same  heavy  snowfalls  which  feed  the  glaciers  store  up 
water-supplies  for  forest  and  meadow.  The  winters 
at  the  base  of  the  mountain  are  mild. 

The  lower  valleys  are  covered  with  a  dense  growth 
of  fir,  hemlock,  and  cedar.  Pushing  skyward  in  com 
petition  for  the  sunlight,  trees  attain  great  heights. 
Protected  from  winter's  severity  by  the  thickness  of 
the  growth,  and  from  fire  by  the  dampness  of  the  soil, 
great  age  is  assured,  which  means  thick  and  heavy 
trunks.  The  Douglas  fir,  easily  the  most  important 
timber-tree  of  western  America,  here  reaches  its  two 
hundred  feet  in  massive  forests,  while  occasional  indi 
viduate  grow  two  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred  and 
seventy  feet  with  a  diameter  of  eight  feet.  The  bark 
at  the  base  of  these  monsters  is  sometimes  ten  inches 
thick.  The  western  hemlock  also  reaches  equal  heights 
in  competition  for  the  light,  with  diameters  of  five  feet 
or  more.  Red  cedar,  white  pines  of  several  varieties, 
several  firs,  and  a  variety  of  hemlocks  complete  the  list 
of  conifers.  Deciduous  trees  are  few  and  not  important. 
Broad-leaved  maples,  cottonwoods,  and  alders  are  the 
principal  species. 

Higher  up  the  mountain-slopes  the  forests  thin 
and  lessen  in  size,  while  increasing  in  picturesqueness. 
The  Douglas  fir  and  other  monsters  of  the  lower  levels 
disappear,  their  places  taken  by  other  species.  At  an 


altitude  of  four  thousand  feet  the  Englemarin  spruce 
and  other  mountain-trees  begin  to  appear,  not  in  the 
massed  ranks  of  the  lower  levels,  but  in  groves  border 
ing  the  flowered  opens. 

The  extreme  limit  of  tree  growth  on  Mount  Rai 
nier  is  about  seven  thousand  feet  of  altitude,  above 
which  one  finds  only  occasional  distorted,  wind-tor 
tured  mountain-hemlocks.  There  is  no  well-defined 
timber-line,  as  on  other  lofty  mountains.  Avalanches 
and  snow-slides  keep  the  upper  levels  swept  and 

The  wild-flower  catalogue  is  too  long  to  enumerate 
here.  John  Muir  expresses  the  belief  that  no  other 
subalpine  floral  gardens  excel  Rainier's  in  profusion 
and  gorgeousness.  The  region  differs  little  from  other 
Pacific  regions  of  similar  altitude  in  variety  of  species; 
in  luxuriance  it  is  unsurpassed. 

According  to  Theodore  Winthrop  who  visited  the 
northwest  in  1853  and  published  a  book  entitled  "The 
Canoe  and  the  Saddle,"  which  had  wide  vogue  at  the 
time  and  is  consulted  to-day,  Mount  Rainier  had  its 
Indian  Rip  Van  Winkle.  The  story  was  told  him  in 
great  detail  by  Hamitchou,  "a  frowsy  ancient  of  the 
Squallyamish."  The  hero  was  a  wise  and  wily  fisher 
man  and  hunter.  Also,  as  his  passion  was  gain,  he 
became  an  excellent  business  man.  He  always  had 
salmon  and  berries  when  food  became  scarce  and  prices 


high.  Gradually  he  amassed  large  savings  in  hiaqua, 
the  little  perforated  shell  which  was  the  most  valued 
form  of  wampum,  the  Indian's  money.  The  richer  he 
got  the  stronger  his  passion  grew  for  hiaqua,  and,  when 
a  spirit  told  him  in  a  dream  of  vast  hoards  at  the 
summit  of  Rainier,  he  determined  to  climb  the  moun 
tain.  The  spirit  was  Tamanoiis,  which,  Winthrop  ex 
plains,  is  the  vague  Indian  personification  of  the  super 

So  he  threaded  the  forests  and  climbed  the  moun 
tain's  glistening  side.  At  the  summit  he  looked  over 
the  rim  into  a  large  basin  in  the  bottom  of  which  was 
a  black  lake  surrounded  by  purple  rock.  At  the  lake's 
eastern  end  stood  three  monuments.  The  first  was  as 
tall  as  a  man  and  had  a  head  carved  like  a  salmon; 
the  second  was  the  image  of  a  camas-bulb;  the  two 
represented  the  great  necessities  of  Indian  life.  The 
third  was  a  stone  elk's  head  with  the  antlers  in  velvet. 
At  the  foot  of  this  monument  he  dug  a  hole. 

Suddenly  a  noise  behind  him  caused  him  to  turn. 
An  otter  clambered  over  the  edge  of  the  lake  and 
struck  the  snow  with  its  tail.  Eleven  others  followed. 
Each  was  twice  as  big  as  any  otter  he  had  ever  seen; 
their  chief  was  four  times  as  big.  The  eleven  sat 
themselves  in  a  circle  around  him;  the  leader  climbed 
upon  the  stone  elk-head. 

At  first  the  treasure-seeker  was  abashed,  but  he 
had  come  to  find  hiaqua  and  he  went  on  digging.  At 
every  thirteenth  stroke  the  leader  of  the  otters  tapped 
the  stone  elk  with  his  tail,  and  the  eleven  followers 


tapped  the  snow  with  their  tails.  Once  they  all 
gathered  closer  and  whacked  the  digger  good  and  hard 
with  their  tails,  but,  though  astonished  and  badly 
bruised,  he  went  on  working.  Presently  he  broke  his 
elkhorn  pick,  but  the  biggest  otter  seized  another  in 
his  teeth  and  handed  it  to  him. 

Finally  his  pick  struck  a  flat  rock  with  a  hollow 
sound,  and  the  otters  all  drew  near  and  gazed  into  the 
hole,  breathing  excitedly.  He  lifted  the  rock  and  under 
it  found  a  cavity  filled  to  the  brim  with  pure-white 
hiaqua,  every  shell  large,  unbroken  and  beautiful.  All 
were  hung  neatly  on  strings. 

Never  was  treasure-quest  so  successful !  The  ot 
ters,  recognizing  him  as  the  favorite  of  Tamanoiis, 
retired  to  a  distance  and  gazed  upon  him  respectfully. 

"But  the  miser,"  writes  the  narrator,  "never 
dreamed  of  gratitude,  never  thought  to  hang  a  string 
from  the  buried  treasure  about  the  salmon  and  kamas 
tamanoiis  stones,  and  two  strings  around  the  elk's 
head;  no,  all  must  be  his  own,  all  he  could  carry  now, 
and  the  rest  for  the  future." 

Greedily  he  loaded  himself  with  the  booty  and 
laboriously  climbed  to  the  rim  of  the  bowl  prepared 
for  the  descent  of  the  mountain.  The  otters,  puffing 
in  concert,  plunged  again  into  the  lake,  which  at  once 
disappeared  under  a  black  cloud. 

Straightway  a  terrible  storm  arose  through  which 
the  voice  of  Tamanoiis  screamed  tauntingly.  Black 
ness  closed  around  him.  The  din  was  horrible.  Terri 
fied,  he  threw  back  into  the  bowl  behind  him  five 


strings  of  hiaqua  to  propitiate  Tamanoiis,  and  there 
followed  a  momentary  lull,  during  which  he  started 
homeward.  But  immediately  the  storm  burst  again 
with  roarings  like  ten  thousand  bears. 

Nothing  could  be  done  but  to  throw  back  more 
hiaqua.  Following  each  sacrifice  came  another  lull, 
followed  in  turn  by  more  terrible  outbreaks.  And  so, 
string  by  string,  he  parted  with  all  his  gains.  Then  he 
sank  to  the  ground  insensible. 

When  he  awoke  he  lay  under  an  arbutus-tree  in  a 
meadow  of  camas.  He  was  shockingly  stiff  and  every 
movement  pained  him.  But  he  managed  to  gather 
and  smoke  some  dry  arbutus-leaves  and  eat  a  few 
camas-bulbs.  He  was  astonished  to  find  his  hair  very 
long  and  matted,  and  himself  bent  and  feeble.  "Ta- 
manoiis,"  he  muttered.  Nevertheless,  he  was  calm 
and  happy.  Strangely,  he  did  not  regret  his  lost 
strings  of  hiaqua.  Fear  was  gone  and  his  heart  was 
filled  with  love. 

Slowly  and  painfully  he  made  his  way  home. 
Everything  was  strangely  altered.  Ancient  trees  grew 
where  shrubs  had  grown  four  days  before.  Cedars 
under  whose  shade  he  used  to  sleep  lay  rotting  on  the 
ground.  Where  his  lodge  had  stood  now  he  saw  a  new 
and  handsome  lodge,  and  presently  out  of  it  came  a 
very  old  decrepit  squaw  who,  nevertheless,  through  her 
wrinkles,  had  a  look  that  seemed  strangely  familiar  to 
him.  Her  shoulders  were  hung  thick  with  hiaqua 
strings.  She  bent  over  a  pot  of  boiling  salmon  and 
crooned : 


"My  old  man  has  gone,  gone,  gone. 
My  old  man  to  Tacoma  has  gone. 
To  hunt  the  elk  he  went  long  ago. 
When  will  he  come  down,  down,  down 
To  salmon  pot  and  me?" 

"He  has  come  down,"  quavered  the  returned 
traveller,  at  last  recognizing  his  wife. 

He  asked  no  questions.  Charging  it  all  to  the 
wrath  of  Tamanoiis,  he  accepted  fate  as  he  found  it. 
After  all,  it  was  a  happy  fate  enough  in  the  end,  for 
the  old  man  became  the  Great  Medicine-Man  of  his 
tribe,  by  whom  he  was  greatly  revered. 

The  name  of  this  Rip  Van  Winkle  of  Mount  Rainier 
is  not  mentioned  in  Mr,  Winthrop's  narrative. 




/CRATER  LAKE  is  in  southwestern  Oregon 
V^  among  the  Cascade  Mountains,  and  is  reached 
by  an  automobile  ride  of  several  hours  from  Medford. 
The  government  information  circular  calls  it  "the 
deepest  and  bluest  lake  in  the  world."  Advertising 
circulars  praise  it  in  choicest  professional  phrase. 
Its  beauty  is  described  as  exceeding  that  of  any  other 
lake  in  all  the  world.  Never  was  blue  so  wonderful 
as  the  blue  of  these  waters;  never  were  waters  so  deep 
as  its  two  thousand  feet. 

Lured  by  this  eloquence  the  traveller  goes  to  Crater 
Lake  and  finds  it  all  as  promised — in  fact,  far  better 
than  promised,  for  the  best  intended  adjectives,  even 
when  winged  by  the  energetic  pen  of  the  most  talented 
ad  writer,  cannot  begin  to  convey  the  glowing,  chang 
ing,  mysterious  loveliness  of  this  lake  of  unbelievable 
beauty.  In  fact,  the  tourist,  with  expectation  at  fever- 
heat  by  the  time  he  steps  from  the  auto-stage  upon 
the  crater  rim,  is  silenced  as  much  by  astonishment 
as  by  admiration. 

Before  him  lies  a  crater  of  pale  pearly  lava  several 
miles  in  diameter.  A  thousand  feet  below  its  rim  is  a 

lake  whose  farthest  blues  vie  in  delicacy  with  the 



horizon  lavas,  and  deepen  as  they  approach  till  at  his 
feet  they  turn  to  almost  black.  There  is  nothing  with 
which  to  compare  the  near-by  blue  looked  sharply 
down  upon  from  Crater's  rim.  The  deepest  indigo 
is  nearest  its  intensity,  but  at  certain  angles  falls  far 

Nor  is  it  only  the  color  which  affects  him  so 
strongly;  its  kind  is  something  new,  startling,  and 
altogether  lovely.  Its  surface,  so  magically  framed 
and  tinted,  is  broken  by  fleeting  silver  wind-streaks 
here  and  there;  otherwise,  it  has  the  vast  stillness 
which  we  associate  with  the  Grand  Canyon  and  the  sky 
at  night.  The  lava  walls  are  pearly,  faintly  blue  afar 
off,  graying  and  daubed  with  many  colors  nearer  by. 
Pinks,  purples,  brick-reds,  sulphurs,  orange-yellows 
and  many  intermediates  streak  and  splash  the  fore 
ground  gray.  And  often  pine-green  forests  fringe  the 
rim,  and  funnel  down  sharply  tilted  canyons  to  the 
water's  edge;  and  sometimes  shrubs  of  livelier  green 
find  foothold  on  the  gentler  slopes,  and,  spreading, 
paint  bright  patches.  Over  all,  shutting  down  and 
around  it  like  a  giant  bowl,  is  a  sky  of  Californian  blue 
overhead  softening  to  the  pearl  of  the  horizon.  A 
wonder  spectacle  indeed ! 

And  then  our  tourist,  recovering  from  his  trance, 
walks  upon  the  rim  and  descends  the  trail  to  the 
water's  edge  to  join  a  launch-party  around  the  lake. 
Here  he  finds  a  new  and  different  experience  which  is 
quite  as  sensational  as  that  of  his  original  discovery. 
Seen  close  by  from  the  lake's  surface  these  tinted  lava 


cliffs  are  carved  as  grotesquely  as  a  Japanese  ivory. 
Precipices  rise  at  times  two  thousand  feet,  sheer  as  a 
wall.  Elsewhere  gentle  slopes  of  powdery  lava,  moss- 
tinted,  connect  rim  and  water  with  a  ruler  line.  And 
between  these  two  extremes  are  found  every  fashion 
and  kind  and  degree  of  lava  wall,  many  of  them  pre 
cipitous,  most  of  them  rugged,  all  of  them  contorted 
and  carved  in  the  most  fantastic  manner  that  imagina 
tion  can  picture.  Caves  open  their  dark  doors  at 
water's  edge.  Towered  rocks  emerge  from  submerged 
reefs.  A  mimic  volcano  rises  from  the  water  near  one 
side.  Perpetual  snow  fills  sheltered  crevices  in  the 
southern  rim. 

And  all  this  wonder  is  reflected,  upside  down,  in 
the  still  mirror  through  which  the  launch  ploughs  its 
rapid  way.  But  looking  backward  where  the  inverted 
picture  is  broken  and  tossed  by  the  waves  from  the 
launch's  prow,  he  looks  upon  a  kaleidoscope  of  color 
which  he  will  remember  all  his  life;  for,  to  the  gorgeous 
disarray  of  the  broken  image  of  the  cliffs  is  added  the 
magic  tint  of  this  deep-dyed  water,  every  wavelet  of 
which,  at  its  crest,  seems  touched  for  the  fraction  of  a 
second  with  a  flash  of  indigo;  the  whole  dancing,  spar 
kling,  shimmering  hi  a  glory  which  words  cannot 
convey;  and  on  the  other  side,  and  far  astern,  the 
subsiding  waves  calming  back  to  normal  in  a  flare  of 
robin 's-egg  blue. 

Our  tourist  returns  to  the  rim-side  hotel  to  the 
ceremony  of  sunset  on  Crater  Lake,  for  which  the  lake 
abandons  all  traditions  and  clothes  itself  in  gold  and 


crimson.  And  in  the  morning  after  looking,  before 
sunrise,  upon  a  Crater  Lake  of  hard-polished  steel 
from  which  a  falling  rock  would  surely  bounce  and 
bound  away  as  if  on  ice,  he  breakfasts  and  leaves  with 
out  another  look  lest  repetition  dull  his  priceless  mem 
ory  of  an  emotional  experience  which,  all  in  all,  can 
never  come  again  the  same. 

It  is  as  impossible  to  describe  Crater  Lake  as  it  is 
to  paint  it.  Its  outlines  may  be  photographed,  but 
the  photograph  does  not  tell  the  story.  Its  colors  may 
be  reproduced,  but  the  reproduction  is  not  Crater 
Lake.  More  than  any  other  spot  I  know,  except  the 
Grand  Canyon  from  its  rim,  Crater  Lake  seems  to  con 
vey  a  glory  which  is  not  of  line  or  mass  or  color  or 
composition,  but  which  seems  to  be  of  the  spirit.  No 
doubt  this  vivid  impression  which  the  stilled  observer 
seems  to  acquire  with  his  mortal  eye,  is  born  some 
how  of  his  own  emotion.  Somehow  he  finds  himself 
in  communion  with  the  Infinite.  Perhaps  it  is  this 
quality  which  seems  so  mysterious  that  made  the 
Klamath  Indians  fear  and  shun  Crater  Lake,  just  as 
the  Indians  of  the  great  plateau  feared  and  shunned 
the  Grand  Canyon.  It  is  this  intangible,  seemingly 
spiritual  quality  which  makes  the  lake  impossible 
either  to  paint  or  to  describe. 

So  different  is  this  spectacle  from  anything  else 
upon  the  continent  that  the  first  question  asked 
usually  is  how  it  came  to  be.  The  answer  discloses 
one  of  the  most  dramatic  incidents  in  the  history  of 
the  earth. 


In  the  evolution  of  the  Cascades,  many  have  been 
the  misadventures  of  volcanoes.  Some  have  been 
buried  alive  in  ash  and  lava,  and  merged  into  con 
quering  rivals.  Some  have  been  buried  in  ice  which 
now,  organized  as  glaciers,  is  wearing  down  their  sides. 
Some  have  died  of  starvation  and  passed  into  the  hills. 
Some  have  been  blown  to  atoms.  Only  one  in  America, 
so  far  as  known,  has  returned  into  the  seething  gulf 
which  gave  it  birth.  That  was  Mount  Mazama. 

The  processes  of  creation  are  too  deliberate  for 
human  comprehension.  The  Mississippi  takes  five 
thousand  years  to  lower  one  inch  its  valley's  surface. 
The  making  of  Glacier  National  Park  required  many— 
perhaps  hundreds — of  millions  of  years.  It  seems 
probable  that  the  cataclysm  in  which  Mount  Mazama 
disappeared  was  exceptional;  death  may  have  come 
suddenly,  even  as  expressed  in  human  terms. 

What  happened  seems  to  have  been  this.  Some 
foundation  underpinning  gave  way  in  the  molten  gulf 
below,  and  the  vast  mountain  sank  and  disappeared 
within  itself.  Imagine  the  spectacle  who  can !  Mount 
Mazama  left  a  clean-cut  rim  surrounding  the  hole 
through  which  it  slipped  and  vanished.  But  there  was 
a  surging  back.  The  eruptive  forces,  rebounding, 
pushed  the  shapeless  mass  again  up  the  vast  chimney. 
They  found  it  too  heavy  a  load.  Deep  within  the  ash- 
choked  vent  burst  three  small  craters,  and  that  was 
all.  Two  of  these  probably  were  short-lived,  the  third 
lasted  a  little  longer.  And,  centuries  later,  spring 
water  seeped  through,  creating  Crater  Lake. 


Crater  Lake  is  set  in  the  summit  of  the  Cascade 
Range,  about  sixty-five  miles  north  of  the  California 
boundary.  The  road  from  the  railway-station  at  Med- 
ford  leads  eighty  miles  eastward  up  the  picturesque 
volcanic  valley  of  the  Rogue  River.  The  country  is 
magnificently  forested.  The  mountains  at  this  point 


are  broad,  gently  rolling  plateaus  from  which  suddenly 
rise  many  volcanic  cones,  which,  seen  from  elevated 
opens,  are  picturesque  in  the  extreme.  Each  of  these 
cones  is  the  top  of  a  volcano  from  whose  summit  has 
streamed  the  prehistoric  floods  of  lava  which  have 
filled  the  intervening  valleys,  raising  and  levelling  the 

Entering  the  park,  a  high,  broad,  forested  eleva 
tion  is  quickly  encountered  which  looks  at  a  glance 
exactly  what  it  is,  the  base  which  once  supported  a 
towering  cone.  At  its  summit,  this  swelling  base  is 
found  to  be  the  outside  supporting  wall  of  a  roughly 
circular  lake,  about  five  miles  in  diameter,  the  inside 
wall  of  which  is  steeply  inclined  to  the  water's  surface 
a  thousand  feet  below.  The  strong  contrast  between 
the  outer  and  inner  walls  tells  a  plainly  read  story. 


The  outer  walls,  all  around,  slope  gently  upward  at  an 
angle  of  about  fifteen  degrees;  naturally,  if  carried  on, 
they  would  converge  in  a  peaked  summit  higher  than 
that  of  Shasta.  The  inner  walls  converge  downward 
at  a  steep  angle,  suggesting  a  funnel  of  enormous  depth. 
It  was  through  this  funnel  that  Mount  Mazama,  as 
men  call  the  volcano  that  man  never  saw,  once  collapsed 
into  the  gulf  from  which  it  had  emerged. 

Studying  the  scene  from  the  Lodge  on  the  rim 
where  the  automobile-stage  has  left  you,  the  most  vivid 
impressions  of  detail  are  those  of  the  conformation  of 
the  inner  rim,  the  cliffs  which  rise  above  it,  and  the 
small  volcano  which  emerges  from  the  blue  waters  of 
the  lake. 

The  marvellous  inner  slope  of  the  rim  is  not  a  con 
tinuous  cliff,  but  a  highly  diversified  succession  of 
strata.  Examination  shows  the  layers  of  volcanic 
conglomerate  and  lava  of  which,  like  layers  of  brick 
and  stone,  the  great  structure  was  built.  The  down 
ward  dip  of  these  strata  away  from  the  lake  is  every 
where  discernible.  The  volcano's  early  story  thus  lies 
plain  to  eyes  trained  to  read  it.  The  most  interesting 
of  these  strata  is  the  lava  flow  which  forms  twelve 
thousand  feet  of  the  total  precipice  of  Llao  Rock,  a 
prominence  of  conspicuous  beauty. 

Many  of  these  cliffs  are  magnificently  bold.  The 
loftiest  is  Glacier  Peak,  which  rises  almost  two  thou 
sand  feet  above  the  water's  surface.  But  Button  Cliff 
is  a  close  rival,  and  Vidae  Cliff,  Garfield  Peak,  Llao 
Rock,  and  the  Watchman  fall  close  behind.  Offsetting 

From  a  photograph  copyright  by  Scenic  America  Company 


From  a  photograph  copyright  by  Scenic  America  Company 



these  are  breaks  where  the  rim  drops  within  six  hundred 
feet  of  the  water.  The  statement  of  a  wall  height  of  a 
thousand  feet  expresses  the  general  impression,  though 
as  an  average  it  is  probably  well  short  of  the  fact. 

At  the  foot  of  all  the  walls,  at  water's  edge,  lie 
slopes  of  talus,  the  rocky  fragments  which  erosion  has 


broken  loose  and  dropped  into  the  abyss.  Nowhere 
is  there  a  beach.  The  talus  shallows  the  water  for  a 
few  hundred  feet,  and  descending  streams  build  small 
deltas.  These  shallows  edge  the  intense  blue  of  the 
depths  with  exquisite  lighter  tints  which  tend  to  green. 
But  this  edging  is  very  narrow. 

The  next  most  striking  object  after  the  gigantic 
carven  cliffs  is  Wizard  Island.  This  complete  volcano 
in  miniature,  notwithstanding  that  it  is  forest-clothed 
and  rises  from  water,  carries  the  traveller's  mind  in 
stantly  to  the  thirteen  similar  cones  which  rise  within 
the  enormous  desert  crater  of  dead  Haleakala,  in  the 
Hawaii  National  Park.  Wizard  Island's  crater  may 
easily  be  seen  in  the  tip  of  its  cone.  Its  two  fellow 
volcanoes  are  invisible  four  hundred  feet  under  water. 

Scanning  the  blue  surface,  one's  eye  is  caught  by 
an  interesting  sail-like  rock  rising  from  the  waters  on 
the  far  right  close  to  the  foot  of  Button  Cliff.  This 
is  the  Phantom  Ship.  Seen  two  miles  away  in  certain 


lights  the  illusion  is  excellent.  The  masts  seem  to 
tilt  rakishly  and  the  sails  shine  in  the  sun.  There 
are  times  when  the  Phantom  Ship  suddenly  disappears, 
and  times  again  when  it  as  suddenly  appears  where 
nothing  was  before.  Hence  its  name  and  mysterious 
repute.  But  there  is  nothing  really  mysterious  about 
this  ghostly  behavior,  which  occurs  only  when  the 
heated  atmosphere  lends  itself  readily  to  mirage. 

Days  and  weeks  of  rare  pleasure  may  be  had  in 
the  exploration  of  these  amazing  walls,  a  pleasure 
greatly  to  be  enhanced  by  discovering  and  studying 
the  many  plain  evidences  of  Mazama's  slow  upbuilding 
and  sudden  extinction.  The  excellent  automobile 
road  around  the  rim  affords  easy  approach  afoot  as 
well  as  by  automobile  and  bicycle.  Its  passage  is 
enlivened  by  many  inspiring  views  of  the  outlying 
Cascades  with  their  great  forests  of  yellow  pine  and 
their  lesser  volcanic  cones,  some  of  which,  within  and 
without  the  park  boundaries,  hung  upon  the  flanks  of 
Mount  Mazama  while  it  was  belching  flame  and  ash, 
while  others,  easing  the  checked  pressure  following  the 
great  catastrophe,  were  formed  anew  or  enlarged  from 
older  vents. 

From  this  road  any  part  of  the  fantastic  rim  may 
be  reached  and  explored,  often  to  the  water's  edge, 
by  adventurous  climbers.  What  more  enjoyable  day's 
outing,  for  instance,  than  the  exploration  of  the  splen 
did  pile  of  pentagonal  basaltic  columns  suspended  half 
way  in  the  rim  at  one  point  of  picturesque  beauty? 
What  more  inspiring  than  the  climbing  of  Dutton 


Cliff,  or,  for  experienced  climbers,  of  many  of  the 
striking  lava  spires?  The  only  drawback  to  these 
days  of  happy  wandering  along  this  sculptured  and 
painted  rim  is  the  necessity  of  carrying  drinking-water 
from  the  Lodge. 

Then  there  are  days  of  pleasure  on  the  water. 
Wizard  Island  may  be  thoroughly  explored,  with 
luncheon  under  its  trees  by  the  lakeside.  The  Phan 
tom  Ship's  gnarled  lavas  may  be  examined  and  climbed. 
Everywhere  the  steep  rocky  shore  invites  more  in 
timate  acquaintance;  its  caves  may  be  entered,  some 
afoot,  at  least  one  afloat.  The  lake  is  well  stocked 
with  rainbow  trout,  some  of  them  descendants  of  the 
youngsters  which  Will  G.  Steel  laboriously  carried 
across  country  from  Gordon's  Ranch,  forty-nine  miles 
away,  in  1888.  They  are  caught  with  the  fly  from 
shore  and  boat.  A  pound  trout  in  Crater  Lake  is  a 
small  trout.  Occasionally  a  monster  of  eight  or  ten 
pounds  is  carried  up  the  trail  to  the  Lodge. 

During  all  these  days  and  weeks  of  pleasure  and 
study,  the  vision  of  ancient  Mount  Mazama  and  its 
terrible  end  grows  more  and  more  in  the  enlightened 
imagination.  There  is  much  in  the  conformation  of 
the  base  to  justify  a  rather  definite  picture  of  this  lost 
brother  of  Hood,  Shasta,  St.  Helens,  and  Rainier.  At 
the  climax  of  his  career,  Mazama  probably  rose  six 
teen  thousand  feet  above  the  sea,  which  means  ten 
thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the  present  lake.  We 
are  justified  too  in  imagining  his  end  a  cataclysm. 
Volcanic  upbuildings  are  often  spasmodic  and  slow, 


a  series  of  impulses  separated  by  centuries  of  quies 
cence,  but  their  climaxes  often  are  sudden  and  exces 
sively  violent.  It  seems  more  probable  that  Mazama 
collapsed  during  violent  eruption.  Perhaps  like  a 
stroke  of  lightning  at  the  moment  of  triumph,  death 
came  at  the  supreme  climax  of  his  career. 

Certainly  no  mausoleum  was  ever  conceived  for 
human  hero  which  may  be  compared  for  a  moment 
with  this  glorified  grave  of  dead  Mazama ! 

The  human  history  of  Crater  Lake  has  its  inter 
est.  The  Indians  feared  it.  John  W.  Hillman  was 
the  first  white  man  to  see  it.  Early  in  1853  a  party  of 
Californian  miners  ascended  the  Rogue  River  to  re 
discover  a  lost  gold-mine  of  fabulous  richness.  The 
expedition  was  secret,  but  several  Oregonians  who  sus 
pected  its  object  and  meant  to  be  in  at  the  finding, 
quickly  organized  and  followed.  Hillman  was  of  this 
party.  The  Californians  soon  learned  of  the  pursuit. 

"Then,"  wrote  Hillman  half  a  century  later,  "it 
was  a  game  of  hide  and  seek  until  rations  on  both  sides 
got  low.  The  Californians  would  push  through  the 
brush,  scatter,  double  backward  on  their  trail,  and 
then  camp  in  the  most  inaccessible  places  to  be  found, 
and  it  sometimes  puzzled  us  to  locate  and  camp  near 
enough  to  watch  them." 

Eventually  the  rivals  united.  A  combination 
search-party  was  chosen  which  included  Hillman,  and 
this  party,  while  it  found  no  gold-mine,  found  Crater 

"While  riding  up  a  long  sloping  mountain,"  Hill- 


man  continued,  "we  suddenly  came  in  sight  of  water 
and  were  very  much  surprised  as  we  did  not  expect  to 
see  any  lakes.  We  did  not  know  but  what  we  had 
come  in  sight  and  close  to  Klamath  Lake,  and  not  until 
my  mule  stopped  within  a  few  feet  of  the  rim  of  Crater 
Lake  did  I  look  down,  and  if  I  had  been  riding  a  blind 
mule  I  firmly  believe  I  would  have  ridden  over  the  edge 
to  death  and  destruction.  .  .  . 

"The  finding  of  Crater  Lake,"  he  concludes,  "was 
an  accident,  as  we  were  not  looking  for  lakes;  but  the 
fact  of  my  being  the  first  upon  its  banks  was  due  to 
the  fact  that  I  was  riding  the  best  saddle  mule  in 
southern  Oregon,  the  property  of  Jimmy  Dobson, 
a  miner  and  packer  with  headquarters  at  Jackson 
ville,  who  had  furnished  me  the  mule  in  consideration 
of  a  claim  to  be  taken  in  his  name  should  we  be  suc 
cessful.  Stranger  to  me  than  our  discovery  was  the 
fact  that  after  our  return  I  could  get  no  acknowledg 
ment  from  any  Indian,  buck  or  squaw,  old  or  young, 
that  any  such  lake  existed;  each  and  every  one  denied 
any  knowledge  of  it,  or  ignored  the  subject  com 

The  next  development  in  Crater's  history  intro 
duces  Will  G.  Steel,  widely  known  as  "the  Father  of 
Crater  Lake  National  Park,"  a  pioneer  of  the  highest 
type,  a  gold-seeker  in  the  coast  ranges  and  the  Klon 
dike,  a  school-teacher  for  many  years,  and  a  public- 
spirited  enthusiast.  In  1869,  a  farmer's  boy  in  Kan 
sas,  he  read  a  newspaper  account  of  an  Oregon  lake 
with  precipice  sides  five  thousand  feet  deep.  Moving 


to  Oregon  in  1871,  he  kept  making  inquiries  for  seven 
years  before  he  verified  the  fact  of  the  lake's  existence, 
and  it  was  two  years  later  before  he  found  a  man  who 
had  seen  it.  This  man's  description  decided  him  to 
visit  it,  then  an  undertaking  of  some  difficulty. 

He  got  there  in  1885.  Standing  on  the  rim  he 
suggested  to  Professor  Joseph  Le  Conte  that  an  effort 
be  made  to  induce  the  national  government  to  save  it 
from  defacement  and  private  exploitation.  Return 
ing  home  they  prepared  a  petition  to  President  Cleve 
land,  who  promptly  withdrew  ten  townships  from 
settlement  pending  a  bill  before  Congress  to  create  a 
national  park.  Congress  refused  to  pass  the  bill  on 
the  ground  that  Oregon  should  protect  her  own  lake. 
Then  Steel  began  an  effort,  or  rather  an  unbroken 
succession  of  efforts,  to  interest  Congress.  For  seven 
teen  years  he  agitated  the  project  at  home,  where  he 
made  speeches  winter  and  summer  all  over  the  State, 
and  at  Washington,  which  he  deluged  with  letters  and 
circulars.  Finally  the  bill  was  passed.  Crater  Lake 
became  a  national  park  on  May  22,  1902. 

Mr.  Steel's  work  was  not  finished.  He  now  began 
just  as  vigorous  a  campaign  to  have  the  lake  properly 
stocked  with  trout.  It  required  years  but  succeeded. 
Then  he  began  a  campaign  for  funds  to  build  a  road 
to  the  lake.  This  was  a  stubborn  struggle  which  car 
ried  him  to  Washington  for  a  winter,  but  it  finally 

During  most  of  this  time  Mr.  Steel  was  a  country 
school-teacher  without  other  personal  income  than  his 


salary.  He  spent  many  of  his  summers  talking  Crater- 
Lake  projects  to  audiences  in  every  part  of  the  State, 
depending  upon  his  many  friends  for  entertainment 
and  for  "lifts"  from  town  to  town.  He  was  superin 
tendent  of  the  park  from  1913  to  the  winter  of  1920, 
when  he  became  United  States  commissioner  for  the 

The  attitude  of  the  Indians  toward  Crater  Lake 
remains  to  be  told.  Steel  is  authority  for  the  statement 
that  previous  to  1886  no  modern  Indian  had  looked 
upon  its  waters.  Legends  inherited  from  their  an 
cestors  made  them  greatly  fear  it.  I  quote  O.  C. 
Applegate's  "Klamath  Legend  of  La-o,"  from  Steel 
Points  for  January,  1907: 

"According  to  the  mythology  of  the  Klamath  and 
Modoc  Indians,  the  chief  spirit  who  occupied  the  mys 
tic  land  of  Gaywas,  or  Crater  Lake,  was  La-o.  Under 
his  control  were  many  lesser  spirits  who  appeared  to 
be  able  to  change  their  forms  at  will.  Many  of  these 
were  monsters  of  various  kinds,  among  them  the  giant 
crawfish  (or  dragon)  who  could,  if  he  chose,  reach  up 
his  mighty  arms  even  to  the  tops  of  the  cliffs  and 
drag  down  to  the  cold  depths  of  Crater  Lake  any  too 
venturesome  tourist  of  the  primal  days. 

"The  spirits  or  beings  who  were  under  the  con 
trol  of  La-o  assumed  the  forms  of  many  animals  of  the 
present  day  when  they  chose  to  go  abroad  on  dry 
land,  and  this  was  no  less  true  of  the  other  fabulous 
inhabitants  of  Klamath  land  who  were  dominated  by 
other  chief  spirits,  and  who  occupied  separate  locali- 


ties;  all  these  forms,  however,  were  largely  or  solely 
subject  to  the  will  of  Komookumps,  the  great  spirit. 

"Now  on  the  north  side  of  Mount  Jackson,  or 
La-o  Yaina  (La-o's  Mountain),  the  eastern  escarp 
ment  of  which  is  known  as  La-o  Rock,  is  a  smooth  field 
sloping  a  little  toward  the  north  which  was  a  common 
playground  for  the  fabled  inhabitants  of  Gaywas  and 
neighboring  communities. 

"Skell  was  a  mighty  spirit  whose  realm  was  the 
Klamath  Marsh  country,  his  capital  being  near  the 
Yamsay  River  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  marsh.  He 
had  many  subjects  who  took  the  form  of  birds  and 
beasts  when  abroad  on  the  land,  as  the  antelope,  the 
bald  eagle,  the  bliwas  or  golden  eagle,  among  them 
many  of  the  most  sagacious  and  active  of  all  the  beings 
then  upon  the  earth. 

"A  fierce  war  occurred  between  Skell  and  La-o 
and  their  followers,  which  raged  for  a  long  time. 
Finally  Skell  was  stricken  down  in  his  own  land  of 
Yamsay  and  his  heart  was  torn  from  his  body  and 
was  carried  in  triumph  to  La-o  Yaina.  Then  a  great 
gala  day  was  declared  and  even  the  followers  of  Skell 
were  allowed  to  take  part  in  the  games  on  Mount 
Jackson,  and  the  heart  of  Skell  was  tossed  from  hand 
to  hand  in  the  great  ball  game  in  which  all  participated. 

"If  the  heart  of  Skell  could  be  borne  away  so  that 
it  could  be  restored  to  his  body  he  would  live  again, 
and  so  with  a  secret  understanding  among  themselves 
the  followers  of  Skell  watched  for  the  opportunity  to 
bear  it  away.  Eventually,  when  it  reached  the  hands 


of  Antelope,  he  sped  away  to  the  eastward  like  the 
wind.  When  nearly  exhausted,  he  passed  it  on  to 
Eagle,  and  he  in  turn  to  Bliwas,  and  so  on,  and  although 
La-o's  followers  pursued  with  their  utmost  speed,  they 
failed  to  overtake  the  swift  bearers  of  the  precious 
heart.  At  last  they  heard  the  far-away  voice  of  the 
dove,  another  of  SkelPs  people,  and  then  they  gave  up 
the  useless  pursuit. 

"SkelTs  heart  was  restored  and  he  lived  again, 
but  the  war  was  not  over  and  finally  La-o  was  himself 
overpowered  and  slain  and  his  bleeding  body  was  borne 
to  the  La-o  Yaina,  on  the  very  verge  of  the  great 
cliff,  and  a  false  message  was  conveyed  to  La-o's  mon 
sters  in  the  lake  that  Skell  had  been  killed  instead  of 
La-o,  and,  when  a  quarter  of  the  body  was  thrown 
over,  La-o's  monsters  devoured  it  thinking  it  a  part 
of  SkelPs  body.  Each  quarter  was  thrown  over  in 
turn  with  the  same  result,  but  when  the  head  was 
thrown  into  the  lake  the  monsters  recognized  it  as  the 
head  of  their  master  and  would  not  touch  it,  and  so  it 
remains  to-day,  an  island  in  the  lake,  to  all  people 
now  known  as  Wizard  Island." 

In  1885,  at  Fort  Klamath,  Steel  obtained  from 
Allen  David,  the  white-headed  chief  of  the  Klamath 
Indians,  the  story  of  how  the  Indians  returned  to 
Crater  Lake.  It  was  "long  before  the  white  man  ap 
peared  to  drive  the  native  out."  Several  Klamaths 
while  hunting  were  shocked  to  find  themselves  on  the 
lake  rim,  but,  gazing  upon  its  beauty,  suddenly  it  was 
revealed  to  them  that  this  was  the  home  of  the  Great 


Spirit.  They  silently  left  and  camped  far  away.  But 
one  brave  under  the  spell  of  the  lake  returned,  looked 
again,  built  his  camp-fire  and  slept.  The  next  night  he 
returned  again,  and  still  again.  Each  night  strange 
voices  which  charmed  him  rose  from  the  lake;  mysteri 
ous  noises  filled  the  air.  Moons  waxed  and  waned. 
One  day  he  climbed  down  to  the  water's  edge,  where 
he  saw  creatures  "like  in  all  respects  to  Klamath 
Indians  "  inhabiting  the  waters.  Again  and  again  he 
descended,  bathed,  and  soon  began  to  feel  mysteriously 
strong,  "stronger  than  any  Indian  of  his  tribe  because 
of  his  many  visits  to  the  waters." 

Others  perceiving  his  growing  power  ventured  also 
to  visit  the  lake,  and,  upon  bathing  in  its  waters  also 
received  strength. 

"On  one  occasion,"  said  David  solemnly,  "the 
brave  who  first  visited  the  lake  killed  a  monster,  or 
fish,  and  was  at  once  set  upon  by  untolcl  numbers  of 
excited  Llaos  (for  such  they  were  called),  who  carried 
him  to  the  top  of  the  cliffs,  cut  his  throat  with  a  stone 
knife,  then  tore  his  body  into  small  pieces  which  were 
thrown  down  to  the  waters  far  beneath  and  devoured 
by  angry  Llaos." 

In  1886  two  Klamaths  accompanied  Captain 
Clarence  E.  Button's  Geological  Survey  party  to  Crater 
Lake  and  descended  to  the  water's  edge.  The  news 
of  the  successful  adventure  spread  among  the  Indians, 
and  others  came  to  look  upon  the  forbidden  spot. 
That  was  the  beginning  of  the  end  of  the  superstition. 
Steel  says  that  two  hundred  Klamaths  camped  upon 


the  rim  in  1896,  while  he  was  there  with  the  Maza- 

The  lake  was  variously  named  by  its  early  visitors. 
The  Hillman  party  which  discovered  it  named  it 
Deep  Blue  Lake  on  the  spot.  Later  it  was  known  as 
Lake  Mystery,  Lake  Majesty,  and  Hole  in  the  Ground. 
A  party  from  Jacksonville  named  it  Crater  Lake  on 
August  4,  1869. 





JOHN  COULTER'S  story  of  hot  springs  at  the 
upper  waters  of  the  Yellowstone  River  was  laughed 
at  by  the  public  of  1810.  Jim  Bridgets  account  of  the 
geysers  in  the  thirties  made  his  national  reputation 
as  a  liar.  Warren  Angus  Ferris's  description  of  the 
Upper  Geyser  Basin  was  received  in  1842  in  unbeliev 
ing  silence.  Later  explorers  who  sought  the  Yellow 
stone  to  test  the  truth  of  these  tales  thought  it  whole 
some  to  keep  their  findings  to  themselves,  as  maga 
zines  and  newspapers  refused  to  publish  their  accounts 
and  lecturers  were  stoned  in  the  streets  as  impostors. 
It  required  the  authority  of  the  semiofficial  Washburn- 
Langford  expedition  of  1869  to  establish  credence. 

The  original  appeal  of  the  Yellowstone,  that  to 
wonder,  remains  its  most  popular  appeal  to-day, 
though  science  has  dissipated  mystery  these  many 
years.  Many  visitors,  I  am  persuaded,  enjoy  the 
wonder  of  it  more  even  than  the  spectacle.  I  have 
heard  people  refuse  to  listen  to  the  explanation  of 
geyser  action  lest  it  lessen  their  pleasure  in  Old  Faith 
ful.  I  confess  to  moods  in  which  I  want  to  see  the  blue 



flames  and  smell  the  brimstone  which  Jim  Bridger 
described  so  eloquently.  There  are  places  where  it  is 
not  hard  to  imagine  both. 

For  many  years  the  uncanny  wonders  of  a  dying 
volcanic  region  absorbed  the  public  mind  to  the  ex 
clusion  of  all  else  in  the  Yellowstone  neighborhood, 
which  Congress,  principally  in  consequence  of  these 
wonders,  made  a  national  park  in  1872.  Yet  all  the 
time  it  possessed  two  other  elements  of  distinction 
which  a  later  period  regards  as  equal  to  the  volcanic 
phenomena;  elements,  in  fact,  of  such  distinction  that 
either  one  alone,  without  the  geysers,  would  have 
warranted  the  reservation  of  so  striking  a  region  for 
a  national  park.  One  of  these  is  the  valley  of  the 
Yellowstone  River  with  its  spectacular  waterfalls  and 
its  colorful  canyon.  The  other  is  its  population  of 
wild  animals  which,  in  1872,  probably  was  as  large  and 
may  have  been  larger  than  to-day's.  Yet  little  was 
heard  of  the  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Yellowstone  in  those 
days,  although  Moran's  celebrated  painting,  now  in 
the  Capitol  at  Washington,  helped  influence  Congress 
to  make  it  a  national  park;  and  so  little  did  the  wild 
animals  figure  in  the  calculations  of  the  period  that 
they  were  not  even  protected  in  the  national  park 
until  1894,  when  hunting  had  reduced  the  buffalo  to 
twenty-five  animals. 

Even  in  these  days  of  enlightenment  and  apprecia 
tion  the  great  majority  of  people  think  of  the  Yellow 
stone  only  as  an  area  enclosing  geysers.  There  are 
tourists  so  possessed  with  this  idea  that  they  barely 


glance  at  the  canyon  in  passing.  I  have  heard  tourists 
refuse  to  walk  to  Inspiration  Point  because  they  had 
already  looked  over  the  rim  at  a  convenient  and  un 
impressive  place.  Imagine  coming  two  thousand  miles 
to  balk  at  two  miles  and  a  half  to  the  only  spectacle 
of  its  kind  in  the  world  and  one  of  the  world's  great 
spectacles  at  that!  As  for  the  animals,  few  indeed 
see  any  but  the  occasional  bears  that  feed  at  the  hotel 
dumps  in  the  evening. 

The  Yellowstone  National  Park  lies  in  the  recesses 
of  the  Rocky  Mountains  in  northwestern  Wyoming. 
It  slightly  overlaps  Montana  on  the  north  and  north 
west,  and  Idaho  on  the  southwest.  It  is  rectangular, 
with  an  entrance  about  the  middle  of  each  side.  It  is 
the  largest  of  the  national  parks,  enclosing  3,348  square 
miles.  It  occupies  a  high  plain  girt  with  mountains. 
The  Absarokas  bound  it  on  the  east,  their  crest  in 
vading  the  park  at  Mount  Chittenden.  The  Gallatin 
Range  pushes  into  the  northwestern  corner  from  the 
north.  The  continental  divide  crosses  the  south 
western  corner  over  the  lofty  Madison  Plateau  and  the 
ridge  south  of  Yellowstone  Lake.  Altitudes  are  gen 
erally  high.  The  plains  range  from  six  to  eight  thou 
sand  feet;  the  mountains  rise  occasionally  to  ten 
thousand  feet.  South  of  the  park  the  Pitchstone 
Plateau  merges  into  the  foot-hills  of  the  Teton  Moun 
tains,  which,  thirty  miles  south  of  the  southern  bound 
ary,  rise  precipitously  seven  thousand  feet  above  the 
general  level  of  the  country. 

Though  occupying  the  heart  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 


tains,  the  region  is  not  of  them.  In  no  sense  is  it 
typical.  The  Rockies  are  essentially  granite  which 
was  forced  molten  from  the  depths  when,  at  the  crea 
tion  of  this  vast  central  mountain  system,  lateral 
pressures  lifted  the  earth's  skin  high  above  sea-level, 
folded  it,  and  final]  y  eroded  it  along  the  crest  of  the 
folds.  In  this  granite  system  the  Yellowstone  is  a 
volcanic  interlude,  and  of  much  later  date.  It  belongs 
in  a  general  way  to  the  impulse  of  volcanic  agitation 
which  lighted  vast  beacons  over  three  hundred  thou 
sand  square  miles  of  our  northwest.  The  Cascade 
Mountains  belong  in  this  grouping.  Four  national 
parks  of  to-day  were  then  in  the  making,  Mount 
Rainier  in  Washington,  Crater  Lake  in  Oregon,  Lassen 
Volcanic  in  California,  and  the  Yellowstone  in  Wy 
oming.  Subterranean  heat,  remaining  from  those  days 
of  volcanic  activity,  to-day  boils  the  water  which  the 
geysers  hurl  in  air. 

In  the  northeastern  part  of  the  Yellowstone  a  large 
central  crater  was  surrounded  by  smaller  volcanoes. 
You  can  easily  trace  the  conformation  from  Mount 
Washburn  which  stood  upon  its  southeastern  rim, 
heaped  there,  doubtless,  by  some  explosion  of  more 
than  common  violence.  This  volcanic  period  was  of 
long  duration,  perhaps  hundreds  of  thousands  of  years. 
In  the  northeastern  part  of  the  park  the  erosion  of  a 
hill  has  exposed  the  petrified  remains  of  thirteen  large 
forests  in  layers  one  on  top  of  the  other,  the  deep  in 
tervening  spaces  filled  with  thick  deposits  of  ashes. 
Thirteen  consecutive  times  were  great  forests  here 


smothered  in  the  products  of  eruption.  Thirteen 
times  did  years  enough  elapse  between  eruptions  for 
soil  to  make  and  forests  to  grow  again,  each  perhaps 
of  many  generations  of  great  trees. 

Yellowstone's  mountains,  then,  are  decayed  vol 
canoes,  its  rock  is  lava,  its  soil  is  ash  and  disintegrated 
lava.  The  resulting  outline  is  soft  and  waving,  with 
a  tendency  to  levels.  There  are  no  pinnacled  heights, 
no  stratified,  minareted  walls,  no  precipiced  cirques  and 
glacier-shrouded  peaks.  Yet  glaciers  visited  the  region. 
The  large  granite  boulder  brought  from  afar  and  left 
near  the  west  rim  of  the  Grand  Canyon  with  thousands 
of  feet  of  rhyolite  and  other  products  of  volcanism  be 
neath  it  is  alone  sufficient  proof  of  that. 

Between  the  periods  from  volcano  to  glacier  and 
from  glacier  to  to-day,  stream  erosion  has  performed 
its  miracles.  The  volcanoes  have  been  rounded  and 
flattened,  the  plateaus  have  been  built  up  and  levelled, 
and  the  canyons  of  the  Yellowstone,  Gibbon,  and  Mad 
ison  Rivers  have  been  dug.  Vigorous  as  its  landscape 
still  remains,  it  has  thus  become  the  natural  playground 
for  a  multitude  of  people  unaccustomed  to  the  rigors 
of  a  powerfully  accented  mountain  country. 

The  fact  is  that,  in  spite  of  its  poverty  of  peaks 
and  precipices,  the  Yellowstone  country  is  one  of  the 
most  varied  and  beautiful  wildernesses  in  the  world. 
Among  national  parks  it  gains  rather  than  loses  by 
its  difference.  While  easily  penetrated,  it  is  wild  in  the 
extreme,  hinting  of  the  prairies  in  its  broad  opens, 
pasture  for  thousands  of  wild  ruminants,  and  of  the 


loftier  mountains  in  its  distant  ranges,  its  isolated 
peaks  and  its  groups  of  rugged,  rolling  summits.  In 
the  number,  magnitude,  and  variety  of  its  waters  it 
stands  quite  alone.  It  contains  no  less  than  three 
watersheds  of  importance,  those  of  the  Yellowstone, 
Madison,  and  Snake  Rivers,  flowing  respectively  north, 
west,  and  south.  The  waters  of  the  Yellowstone  and 
Madison  make  it  an  important  source  of  the  Missouri. 
There  are  minor  rivers  of  importance  in  the  park 
and  innumerable  lesser  streams.  It  is  a  network  of 
waterways.  Its  waterfalls  are  many,  and  two  of 
them  are  large  and  important.  Its  lakes  are  many, 
and  several  are  large.  Yellowstone  Lake  is  the  largest 
of  its  altitude  in  the  world. 

As  a  wilderness,  therefore,  the  Yellowstone  is  un 
equalled.  Its  innumerable  waters  insure  the  luxuri 
ance  of  its  growths.  Its  forested  parts  are  densely 
forested;  its  flower-gardens  are  unexcelled  in  range, 
color,  and  variety,  and  its  meadows  grow  deep  in  many 
kinds  of  rich  grass.  If  it  were  only  for  the  splendor 
of  its  wilderness,  it  still  would  be  worth  the  while. 
Imagine  this  wilderness  heavily  populated  with  friendly 
wild  animals,  sprinkled  with  geysers,  hot  springs,  mud 
volcanoes,  painted  terraces  and  petrified  groves,  sen 
sational  with  breath-taking  canyons  and  waterfalls, 
penetrable  over  hundreds  of  miles  of  well  built  road 
and  several  times  the  mileage  of  trails,  and  comforta 
ble  because  of  its  large  hotels  and  public  camps  lo 
cated  conveniently  for  its  enjoyment,  and  you  have  a 
pleasure-ground  of  extraordinary  quality.  Remember 


that  one  may  camp  out  almost  anywhere,  and  that  all 
waters  are  trout  waters.  Yellowstone  offers  the  best 
fishing  easily  accessible  in  the  continent. 

Another  advantage  possessed  by  the  Yellowstone 
is  a  position  near  the  centre  of  the  country  among 
great  railroad  systems.  The  Northern  Pacific  reaches 
it  on  the  north,  the  Burlington  on  the  east,  and  the 
Union  Pacific  on  the  west.  One  can  take  it  coming 
or  going  between  oceans;  it  is  possible  to  buy  tickets 
in  by  any  one  railroad  and  out  by  either  of  the  others. 
An  elaborate  system  of  automobile-coaches  swings  the 
passenger  where  he  pleases,  meeting  all  incoming 
trains  and  delivering  at  all  outgoing  trains.  It  is 
much  easier  now  to  see  the  Yellowstone  than  in  the 
much-vaunted  stage-coach  times  previous  to  1915, 
times  sorely  lamented  by  the  romantic  because  their 
passing  meant  the  passing  of  the  picturesque  old  horse- 
drawn  stage-coach  from  its  last  stand  in  the  United 
States;  times  when  a  tour  of  the  Yellowstone  meant 
six  and  a  half  days  of  slow,  dusty  travel,  starting  early 
and  arriving  late,  with  a  few  minutes  or  hours  at  each 
"sight"  for  the  soiled  and  exhausted  traveller  to  gape 
in  ignorant  wonder,  watch  in  hand. 

To-day  one  travels  swiftly  and  comfortably  hi 
entire  leisure,  stopping  at  hotels  or  camps  as  he  pleases, 
and  staying  at  each  as  long  as  he  likes.  The  runs 
between  the  lingering  places  are  now  a  pleasure.  If 
hurried,  one  can  now  accomplish  the  stage-coach  trip 
of  the  past  in  two  days,  while  the  old  six  and  a  half 
days  now  means  a  leisurely  and  delightful  visit. 


With  the  new  order  of  travel  began  a  new  con 
ception  of  the  Yellowstone's  public  usefulness.  It 
ceased  to  be  a  museum  of  wonders  and  began  to  be  a 
summer  pleasure-ground.  Instead  of  the  fast  auto 
mobile-stage  decreasing  the  average  length  of  visit, 
the  new  idea  which  it  embodied  has  lengthened  it. 
This  new  idea  is  a  natural  evolution  which  began  with 
the  automobile  and  spread  rapidly.  The  railroads  had 
been  bringing  tourists  principally  on  transcontinental 
stop-overs.  Automobiles  brought  people  who  came 
really  to  see  the  Yellowstone,  who  stayed  weeks  at 
public  camps  to  see  it,  or  who  brought  outfits  and 
camped  out  among  its  spectacles.  The  first  Ford 
which  entered  the  park  on  the  morning  of  August  i, 
1915,  the  day  when  private  cars  were  first  admitted, 
so  loaded  with  tenting  and  cooking  utensils  that  the 
occupants  scarcely  could  be  seen,  was  the  herald  of  the 
new  and  greater  Yellowstone.  Those  who  laughed 
and  those  who  groaned  at  sight  of  it,  and  there  were 
both,  were  no  seers;  for  that  minute  Yellowstone  en 
tered  upon  her  destiny. 

The  road  scheme  is  simple  and  effective.  From 
each  entrance  a  road  leads  into  an  oblong  loop  road 
enclosing  the  centre  of  the  park  and  touching  the  prin 
cipal  points  of  scenic  interest.  This  loop  is  connected 
across  the  middle  for  convenience.  From  it  several 
short  roads  push  out  to  special  spectacles,  and  a  long 
road  follows  Lamar  Creek  through  a  northeastern  en 
trance  to  a  mining  town  which  has  no  other  means  of 
communication  with  the  world  outside.  This  is  the 


road  to  Specimen  Ridge  with  its  thirteen  engulfed 
forests,  to  the  buffalo  range,  and,  outside  the  park 
boundaries,  to  the  Grasshopper  Glacier,  in  whose  glassy 
embrace  may  be  seen  millions  of  grasshoppers  which 
have  lain  in  very  cold  storage  indeed  from  an  age  be 
fore  man.  All  are  automobile  roads. 


The  hot-water  phenomena  are  scattered  over  a 
large  area  of  the  park.  The  Mammoth  Hot  Springs 
at  the  northern  entrance  are  the  only  active  examples 
of  high  terrace-building.  The  geysers  are  concentrated 
in  three  adjoining  groups  upon  the  middle-west  side. 
But  hot  springs  occur  everywhere  at  widely  separated 
points;  a  steam  jet  is  seen  emerging  even  from  the 
depths  .of  the  Grand  Canyon  a  thousand  feet  below 
the  rim. 

The  traveller  is  never  long  allowed  to  forget,  in 
the  silent  beauty  of  the  supreme  wilderness,  the  park's 
uncanny  nature.  Suddenly  encountered  columns  of 
steam  rising  from  innocent  meadows;  occasional  half- 
acres  of  dead  and  discolored  brush  emerging  from  hot 
and  yellow  mud-holes  within  the  glowing  forest  heart; 
an  unexpected  roaring  hillside  running  with  smoking 
water;  irregular  agitated  pools  of  gray,  pink,  or  yellow 
mud,  spitting,  like  a  pot  of  porridge,  explosive  puffs  of 
steam;  the  warm  vaporing  of  a  shallow  in  a  cold  forest- 
bound  lake;  a  continuous  violent  bellowing  from  the 
depths  of  a  ragged  roadside  hole  which  at  intervals 


vomits  noisily  quantities  of  thick  brown  and  purple 
liquid;  occasional  groups  of  richly  colored  hot  springs 
in  an  acre  or  more  of  dull  yellows,  the  whole  steaming 
vehemently  and  interchanging  the  pinks  and  blues  of 
its  hot  waters  as  the  passing  traveller  changes  his  angle 
of  vision — these  and  other  uncouth  phenomena  in 
wide  variety  and  frequent  repetition  enliven  the  tour 
ist's  way.  They  are  more  numerous  in  geyser  neigh 
borhoods,  but  some  of  them  are  met  singly,  always  with 
a  little  shock  of  surprise,  in  every  part  of  the  park. 

The  terrace-building  springs  in  the  north  of  the 
park  engulf  trees.  The  bulky  growing  mounds  of 
white  and  gray  deposit  are  edged  with  minutely  carven 
basins  mounted  upon  elaborately  fluted  supports  of 
ornate  design,  over  whose  many-colored  edges  flows  a 
shimmer  of  hot  water.  Basin  rises  upon  basin,  tier 
upon  tier,  each  in  turn  destined  to  clog  and  dry  and 
merge  into  the  mass  while  new  basins  and  new  tiers 
form  and  grow  and  glow  awhile  upon  their  outer  flank. 
The  material,  of  course,  is  precipitated  by  the  water 
when  it  emerges  from  the  earth's  hot  interior.  The 
vivid  yellows  and  pinks  and  blues  in  which  these  ter 
races  clothe  themselves  upon  warm  days  result  from 
minute  vegetable  algae  which  thrive  in  the  hot  satu 
rated  lime-water  but  quickly  die  and  fade  to  gray  and 
shining  white  on  drying.  The  height  of  some  of  these 
shapeless  masses  of  terrace-built  structures  is  surpris 
ing.  But  more  surprising  yet  is  the  vividness  of  color 
assumed  by  the  limpid  springs  in  certain  lights  and  at 
certain  angles. 


Climbing  the  terraces  at  the  expense  of  wet  feet, 
one  stands  upon  broad,  white,  and  occasionally  very 
damp  plateaus  which  steam  vigorously  in  spots.  These 
spots  are  irregularly  circular  and  very  shallow  pools  of 
hot  water,  some  of  which  bubble  industriously  with  a 
low,  pleasant  hum.  They  are  not  boiling  springs;  the 
bubbling  is  caused  by  escaping  gases;  but  their  waters 
are  extremely  hot.  The  intense  color  of  some  of  these 
pools  varies  or  disappears  with  the  changing  angle  of 
vision;  the  water  itself  is  limpid. 

Elsewhere  throughout  the  park  the  innumerable 
hot  springs  seem  to  be  less  charged  with  deposi table 
matter;  elsewhere  they  build  no  terraces,  but  bubble 
joyously  up  through  bowls  often  many  feet  in  depth 
and  diameter.  Often  they  are  inspiringly  beautiful. 
The  blue  Morning  Glory  Spring  is  jewel-like  rather  than 
flower-like  in  its  color  quality,  but  its  bowl  remarkably 
resembles  the  flower  which  gives  it  name.  Most  springs 
are  gloriously  green.  Some  are  the  sources  of  consid 
erable  streams.  Some  stir  slightly  with  the  feeling 
rather  than  the  appearance  of  life;  others  are  perpet 
ually  agitated,  several  small  springs  betraying  their 
relationship  to  the  geysers  by  a  periodicity  of  activity. 

When  the  air  is  dry  and  the  temperature  low,  the 
springs  shoot  thick  volumes  of  steam  high  in  air.  To 
the  incomer  by  the  north  or  west  entrance  who  has  yet 
to  see  a  geyser,  the  first  view  of  the  Lower  Geyser  Basin 
brings  a  shock  of  astonishment  no  matter  what  his 
expectation.  Let  us  hope  it  is  a  cool,  bracing,  breezy 
morning  when  the  broad  yellow  plain  emits  hundreds 


of  columns  of  heavy  steam  to  unite  in  a  wind-tossed 
cloud  overlying  and  setting  off  the  uncanny  spectacle. 
Several  geysers  spout  vehemently  and  one  or  more 
roaring  vents  bellow  like  angry  bulls  in  a  nightmare. 
This  is  appropriately  the  introduction  to  the  greater 
geyser  basins  which  lie  near  by  upon  the  south. 

Who  shall  describe  the  geysers  ?  What  pen,  what 
brush,  shall  do  justice  to  their  ghostly  glory,  the  eager 
vehemence  of  their  assaults  upon  the  sky,  their  joy 
ful  gush  and  roar,  their  insistence  upon  conscious  per 
sonality  and  power,  the  white  majesty  of  thejir  fluted 
columns  at  the  instant  of  fullest  expansion,  the  supreme 
loveliness  of  their  feathery  florescence  at  the  level  of 
poise  between  rise  and  fall,  their  graciousness  of  form, 
their  speedy  airiness  of  action,  their  giant  convolutions 
of  sun-flecked  steam  rolling  aloft  in  ever-expanding 
volume  to  rejoin  the  parent  cloud? 

Perhaps  there  have  been  greater  geyser  basins 
somewhere  in  the  prehistoric  past.  There  may  be 
greater  still  to  come;  one  or  two  promising  possibilities 
are  in  Alaska.  But  for  the  lapse  of  geologic  tune  in 
which  man  has  so  far  lived,  Yellowstone  has  cornered 
the  world's  geyser  market.  There  are  only  two  other 
places  where  one  may  enjoy  the  spectacle  of  large  gey 
sers.  One  of  these  is  New  Zealand  and  the  other 
Iceland;  but  both  displays  combined  cannot  equal 
Yellowstone's  either  in  the  number  or  the  size  of  the 

Yellowstone  has  dozens  of  geysers  of  many  kinds. 
They  range  in  size  from  the  little  spring  that  spurts  a 


few  inches  every  minute  to  the  monster  that  hurls 
hundreds  of  tons  of  water  three  hundred  feet  in  air 
every  six  or  eight  weeks.  Many  spout  at  fairly  regular 
intervals  of  minutes  or  hours  or  days.  Others  are 
notably  irregular,  and  these  include  most  of  the  largest. 
Old  Faithful  won  its  name  and  reputation  by  its  regu 
larity;  it  is  the  only  one  of  the  group  of  monsters  which 
lives  up  to  its  time-table.  Its  period  ranges  from  in 
tervals  of  about  fifty-five  minutes  in  seasons  following 
winters  of  heavy  snow  to  eighty  or  eighty-five  minutes 
in  seasons  following  winters  of  light  snow.  Its  erup 
tions  are  announced  in  the  Old  Faithful  Inn  a  few 
minutes  in  advance  of  action  and  the  population  of  the 
hotel  walks  out  to  see  the  spouting.  At  night  a  search 
light  is  thrown  upon  the  gushing  flopd. 

After  all,  Old  Faithful  is  the  most  satisfactory  of 
geysers.  Several  are  more  imposing.  Sometimes  en 
thusiasts  remain  in  the  neighborhood  for  weeks  wait 
ing  for  the  Giant  to  play  and  dare  not  venture  far 
away  for  fear  of  missing  the  spectacle;  while  Old 
Faithful,  which  is  quite  as  beautiful  and  nearly  as 
large,  performs  hourly  for  the  pleasure  of  thousands. 
Even  the  most  hurried  visitor  to  the  Upper  Basin  is 
sure,  between  stages,  of  seeing  several  geysers  in  addi 
tion  to  one  or  more  performances  of  Old  Faithful. 

The  greatest  of  known  geysers  ceased  playing  in 
1888.  I  have  found  no  authentic  measurements  or 
other  stated  records  concerning  the  famous  Excelsior. 
It  hurled  aloft  an  enormous  volume  of  water,  with  a 
fury  of  action  described  as  appalling.  Posterity  is 


fortunate  in  the  existence  of  a  striking  photograph  of 
this  monster  taken  at  the  height  of  its  play  by  F.  Jay 
Haynes,  then  official  photographer  of  the  park. 

"The  first  photographs  I  made  were  in  the  fall 
of  1881,"  Mr.  Haynes  writes  me.  "The  eruptions  con 
tinued  during  the  winter  at  increasing  intervals  from 
two  hours,  when  the  series  began,  to  four  hours  when 
it  ceased  operations  before  the  tourist  season  of  1882. 
Not  having  the  modern  photographic  plates  for  in 
stantaneous  work  in  1881,  it  was  impossible  to  secure 
instantaneous  views  then,  but  in  the  spring  of  1888, 
I  made  the  view  which  you  write  about.  It  was  taken 
at  the  fulness  of  its  eruption. 

"The  explosion  was  preceded  by  a  rapid  filling 
of  the  crater  and  a  great  overflow  of  water.  The 
column  was  about  fifty  feet  wide  and  came  from  the 
centre  of  the  crater.  Pieces  of  formation  were  torn 
loose  and  were  thrown  out  during  each  eruption;  large 
quantities  eventually  were  removed  from  the  crater, 
thus  enlarging  it  to  its  present  size." 

Here  we  have  a  witness's  description  of  the  process 
which  clouds  the  career  of  the  Excelsior  Geyser.  The 
enlargement  of  the  vent  eventually  gave  unrestrained 
passage  to  the  imprisoned  steam.  The  geyser  ceased 
to  play.  To-day  the  Excelsior  Spring  is  one  of  the 
largest  hot  springs  in  the  Yellowstone  and  the  world; 
its  output  of  steaming  water  is  constant  and  volumi 
nous.  Thus  again  we  find  relationship  between  the  hot 
spring  and  the  geyser;  it  is  apparent  that  the  same 
vent,  except  perhaps  for  differences  of  internal  shaping, 


might  serve  for  both.  It  was  the  removal  of  restrain 
ing  walls  which  changed  the  Excelsior  Geyser  to  the 
Excelsior  Spring. 

For  many  years  geyser  action  remained  a  mystery 
balanced  among  conflicting  theories,  of  which  at  last 
Bunsen's  won  general  acceptance.  Spring  waters,  or 
surface  waters  seeping  through  porous  lavas,  gather 
thousands  of  feet  below  the  surface  in  some  pocket 
located  in  strata  which  internal  pressures  still  keep 
hot.  Boiling  as  they  gather,  the  waters  rise  till  they 
fill  the  long  vent-hole  to  the  surface.  Still  the  steam 
keeps  making  in  the  deep  pocket,  where  it  is  held  down 
by  the  weight  of  the  water  in  the  vent  above.  As  it 
accumulates  this  steam  compresses  more  and  more. 
The  result  is  inevitable.  There  comes  a  moment  when 
the  expansive  power  of  the  compressed  steam  over 
comes  the  weight  above.  Explosion  follows.  The 
steam,  expanding  now  with  violence,  drives  the  water 
up  the  vent  and  out;  nor  is  it  satisfied  until  the  vent 
is  emptied. 

Upon  the  surface,  as  the  geyser  lapses  and  dies, 
the  people  turn  away  to  the  Inn  and  luncheon.  Un 
der  the  surface,  again  the  waters  gather  and  boil  in 
preparation  for  the  next  eruption.  The  interval  till 
then  will  depend  upon  the  amount  of  water  which 
reaches  the  deep  pocket,  the  size  of  the  pocket,  and  the 
length  and  shape  of  the  vent-hole.  If  conditions  per 
mit  the  upward  escape  of  steam  as  fast  as  it  makes  in 
the  pocket,  we  have  a  hot  spring.  If  the  steam  makes 
faster  than  it  can  escape,  we  have  a  geyser. 

From  a  photograph  by  Haynes  t     j    ,  j      > 


From  a  photograph  by  Haynes 




So  interesting  are  the  geysers  and  their  kin  that, 
with  their  splendid  wilderness  setting,  other  glories 
seem  superfluous.  I  have  had  my  moments  of  impa 
tience  with  the  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Yellowstone  for 
being  in  the  Yellowstone.  Together,  the  canyon  and 
the  geysers  are  almost  too  much  for  one  place,  even 
perhaps  for  one  visit.  One  can  only  hold  so  much, 
even  of  beauty,  at  once.  Spectacles  of  this  quality 
and  quantity  need  assimilation,  and  assimilation  re 
quires  time.  Nevertheless,  once  enter  into  sympathet 
ic  relations  with  the  canyon,  once  find  its  heart  and 
penetrate  its  secret,  and  the  tables  are  quickly  turned. 
Strangely,  it  now  becomes  quite  easy  to  view  with 
comparative  coolness  the  claims  of  mere  hot-water 

The  canyon  cannot  be  considered  apart  from  its 
river  any  more  than  a  geyser  apart  from  its  environ 
ment  of  hot  spring  and  basin,  and  any  consideration 
of  the  Yellowstone  River  begins  with  its  lake.  As 
compared  with  others  of  scenic  celebrity,  Yellowstone 
Lake  is  unremarkable.  Its  shores  are  so  low  and 
the  mountains  of  its  southern  border  so  flat  and  un- 
suggestive  that  it  curiously  gives  the  impression  of 
surface  altitude — curiously  because  it  actually  has  the 
altitude;  its  surface  is  more  than  seven  thousand  seven 
hundred  feet  above  tide.  If  I  have  the  advertisement 
right,  it  is  the  highest  water  in  the  world  that  floats  a 
line  of  steamboats. 


The  lake  is  large,  twenty  miles  north  and  south 
by  fifteen  miles  east  and  west;  it  is  irregular  with  deep 
indentations.  It  is  heavily  wooded  to  the  water's 
edge.  All  its  entering  streams  are  small  except  the 
Yellowstone  River,  which,  from  its  source  in  the 
Absarokas  just  south  of  the  park  boundary,  enters 
the  Southeast  Arm  through  the  lowland  wilderness 
home  of  the  moose  and  the  wild  buffalo.  The  lake 
is  the  popular  resort  of  thousands  of  large  white  peli 
cans,  its  most  picturesque  feature. 

That  part  of  the  Yellowstone  River  which  inter 
ests  us  emerges  from  the  lake  at  its  most  northerly 
point.  It  is  here  a  broad  swift  stream  of  some  depth 
and  great  clarity,  so  swarming  with  trout  that  a  half- 
dozen  or  more  usually  may  be  seen  upon  its  bottom 
at  any  glance  from  boat  or  bridge.  A  number  of  boats 
usually  are  anchored  above  the  bridge  from  which 
anglers  are  successfully  trailing  artificial  flies  and  spin 
ners  in  the  fast  current;  and  the  bridge  is  usually  lined 
with  anglers  who,  in  spite  of  crude  outfits,  frequently 
hook  good  trout  which  they  pull  up  by  main  strength 
much  [as  the  phlegmatic  patrons  of  excursion-steamers 
to  the  Banks  yank  flopping  cod  from  brine  to  basket 
on  the  top  deck. 

The  last  time  I  crossed  the  Fishing  Bridge  and 
paused  to  see  the  fun,  a  woman  whose  face  beamed 
with  happiness  held  up  a  twenty-inch  trout  and 

"Just  look !  My  husband  caught  this  and  he  is 
seventy-six  years  old — last  month.  It's  the  first  fish 


he  ever  caught,  for  he  was  brought  up  in  Kansas,  you 
know,  where  there  isn't  any  fishing.  My !  but  he's  a 
proud  man !  We're  going  to  get  the  camp  to  cook  it 
for  us.  He's  gone  now  to  look  for  a  board  to  draw 
its  measurements  to  show  the  folks  at  home." 

From  here  to  the  river's  emergence  from  the  park 
the  fishing  is  not  crude.  In  fact,  it  taxes  the  most 
skilful  angler's  art  to  steer  his  fighting  trout  through 
boiling  rapids  to  the  net.  For  very  soon  the  Yellow 
stone  narrows  and  pitches  down  sharper  slants  to  the 
climax  of  the  falls  and  the  mighty  canyon. 

This  intermediate  stretch  of  river  is  beautiful  in 
its  quietude.  The  forests  often  touch  the  water's 
edge.  And  ever  it  narrows  and  deepens  and  splashes 
higher  against  the  rocks  which  stem  its  current;  for 
ever  it  is  steepening  to  the  plunge.  Above  the  Upper 
Fall  it  pinches  almost  to  a  mill-race,  roars  over  low 
sills,  swings  eastward  at  right  angles,  and  plunges  a 
hundred  and  nine  feet.  I  know  of  no  cataract  which 
expresses  might  in  action  so  eloquently  as  the  Upper 
Fall  of  the  Yellowstone.  Pressed  as  it  is  within  nar 
row  bounds,  it  seems  to  gush  with  other  motive  power 
than  merely  gravity.  Seen  from  above  looking  down, 
seen  sideways  from  below,  or  looked  at  straight  on 
from  the  camp  site  on  the  opposite  rim,  the  water  ap 
pears  hurled  from  the  brink. 

Less  than  a  mile  south  of  the  Upper  Fall,  the  river 
again  falls,  this  time  into  the  Grand  Canyon. 

Imposing  as  the  Great  Fall  is,  it  must  chiefly  be 
considered  as  a  part  of  the  Grand  Canyon  picture. 


The  only  separate  view  of  it  looks  up  from  the  river's 
edge  in  front,  a  view  which  few  get  because  of  the  diffi 
cult  climb;  every  other  view  poses  it  merely  as  an  ele 
ment  in  the  canyon  composition.  Compared  with  the 
Upper  Fall,  its  more  than  double  height  gives  it  the 
great  superiority  of  majesty  without  detracting  from 
the  Upper  Fall's  gushing  personality.  In  fact,  it  is  the 
King  of  Falls.  Comparison  with  Yosemite's  falls  is 
impossible,  so  different  are  the  elements  and  conditions. 
The  Great  Fall  of  the  Yellowstone  carries  in  one  body, 
perhaps,  a  greater  bulk  of  water  than  all  the  Yosemite 
Valley's  falls  combined. 

And  so  we  come  to  the  canyon.  In  figures  it  is 
roughly  a  thousand  feet  deep  and  twice  as  wide,  more 
or  less,  at  the  rim.  The  supremely  scenic  part  reaches 
perhaps  three  miles  below  the  Great  Fall.  Several 
rock  points  extend  far  into  the  canyon,  from  which 
the  gorgeous  spectacle  may  be  viewed  as  from  an  aero 
plane.  Artists'  Point,  which  is  reached  from  the  east 
side,  displays  the  Great  Fall  as  the  centre  of  a  noble 
composition.  It  was  Moran's  choice.  Inspiration 
Point,  which  juts  far  in  from  the  west  side,  shows  a 
deeper  and  more  comprehensive  view  of  the  canyon 
and  only  a  glimpse  of  the  Great  Fall.  Both  views  are 
essential  to  any  adequate  conception.  From  Artists' 
Point  the  eye  loses  detail  in  the  overmastering  glory  of 
the  whole.  From  Inspiration  Point  the  canyon  re 
veals  itself  in  all  the  intimacy  of  its  sublime  form  and 
color.  Both  views  dazzle  and  astonish.  Neither  can 
be  looked  at  very  long  at  one  time. 

From  a  photograph  copyright  by  Gifford 


From  a  photograph  copyright  by  Gifford 



It  will  help  comprehension  of  the  picture  quality 
of  this  remarkable  canyon  to  recall  that  it  is  carved 
out  of  the  products  of  volcanism;  its  promontories  and 
pinnacles  are  the  knobbed  and  gnarled  decomposition 
products  of  lava  rocks  left  following  erosion;  its  sides 
are  gashed  and  fluted  lava  cliffs  flanked  by  long  straight 
slopes  of  coarse  volcanic  sand-like  grains ;  its  colors  have 
the  distinctness  and  occasional  luridness  which  seem 
natural  to  fused  and  oxidized  disintegrations.  Geo 
logically  speaking,  it  is  a  young  canyon.  It  is  dig 
ging  deeper  all  the  time. 

Yellow,  of  course,  is  the  prevailing  color.  Moran 
was  right.  His  was  the  general  point  of  view,  his  mes 
sage  the  dramatic  ensemble.  But,  even  from  Artists' 
Point,  closer  looking  reveals  great  masses  of  reds  and 
grays,  while  Inspiration  Point  discloses  a  gorgeous 
palette  daubed  with  most  of  the  colors  and  interme 
diate  tints  that  imagination  can  suggest.  I  doubt 
whether  there  is  another  such  kaleidoscope  in  nature. 
There  is  apparently  every  gray  from  purest  white  to 
dull  black,  every  yellow  from  lemon  to  deep  orange, 
every  red,  pink,  and  brown.  These  tints  dye  the  rocks 
and  sands  in  splashes  and  long  transverse  streaks 
which  merge  into  a  single  joyous  exclamation  in  vivid 
color  whose  red  and  yellow  accents  have  something  of 
the  Oriental.  Greens  and  blues  are  missing  from  the 
dyes,  but  are  otherwise  supplied.  The  canyon  is  edged 
with  lodge-pole  forests,  and  growths  of  lighter  greens 
invade  the  sandy  slants,  at  times  nearly  to  the  froth 
ing  river;  and  the  river  is  a  chain  of  emeralds  and 


pearls.  Blue  completes  the  color  gamut  from  the  in 
verted  bowl  of  sky. 

No  sketch  of  the  canyon  is  complete  without  the 
story  of  the  great  robbery.  I  am  not  referring  to  the 
several  hold-ups  of  the  old  stage-coach  days,  but  to  a 
robbery  which  occurred  long  before  the  coming  of  man 
— the  theft  of  the  waters  of  Yellowstone  Lake;  for 
this  splendid  river,  these  noble  falls,  this  incomparable 
canyon,  are  the  ill-gotten  products  of  the  first  of  Yellow 
stone's  hold-ups. 

Originally  Yellowstone  Lake  was  a  hundred  and 
sixty  feet  higher  and  very  much  larger  than  it  is  to-day. 
It  extended  from  the  headwaters  of  the  present  Yel 
lowstone  River,  far  in  the  south,  northward  past  the 
present  Great  Fall  and  Inspiration  Point.  It  included 
a  large  part  of  what  is  now  known  as  the  Hayden 
Valley.  At  that  time  the  Continental  Divide,  which 
now  cuts  the  southwest  corner  of  the  park,  encircled 
the  lake  on  its  north,  and  just  across  the  low  divide 
was  a  small  flat-lying  stream  which  drained  and  still 
drains  the  volcanic  slopes  leading  down  from  Dun- 
raven  Peak  and  Mount  Washburn. 

This  small  stream,  known  as  Sulphur  Creek,  has 
the  honor,  or  the  dishonor  if  you  choose,  of  being  the 
first  desperado  of  the  Yellowstone,  but  one  so  much 
greater  than  its  two  petty  imitators  of  human  times 
that  there  is  no  comparison  of  misdeeds.  Sulphur 
Creek  stole  the  lake  from  the  Snake  River  and  used 
it  to  create  the  Yellowstone  River,  which  in  turn 
created  the  wonderful  canyon.  Here  at  last  is  a 


crime  in  which  all  will  agree  that  the  end  justified  the 

How  this  piracy  was  accomplished  is  written  on 
the  rocks;  even  the  former  lake  outlet  into  the  Snake 
River  is  plainly  discernible  to-day.  At  the  lake's  north 
end,  where  the  seeping  waters  of  Sulphur  Creek  and 
the  edge  of  the  lake  nearly  met  on  opposite  sides  of 
what  was  then  the  low  flat  divide,  it  only  required 
some  slight  disturbance  indirectly  volcanic,  some  un 
accustomed  rising  of  lake  levels,  perhaps  merely  some 
special  stress  of  flood  or  storm  to  make  the  connection. 
Perhaps  the  creek  itself,  sapping  back  in  the  soft  lava 
soils,  unaided  found  the  lake.  Connection  once  made, 
the  mighty  body  of  lake  water  speedily  deepened  a 
channel  northward  and  Sulphur  Creek  became  sure 
of  its  posterity. 

At  that  time,  hidden  under  the  lake's  surface,  two 
rhyolite  dikes,  or  upright  walls  of  harder  rock,  extended 
crosswise  through  the  lake  more  than  half  a  mile  apart. 
As  the  lake-level  fell,  the  nearer  of  these  dikes  emerged 
and  divided  the  waters  into  two  lakes,  the  upper  of 
which  emptied  over  the  dike  into  the  lower.  This  was 
the  beginning  of  the  Great  Fall.  And  presently,  as 
the  Great  Fall  cut  its  breach  deeper  and  deeper  into 
the  restraining  dike,  it  lowered  the  upper-lake  level 
until  presently  the  other  rhyolite  dike  emerged  from 
the  surface  carrying  another  cataract.  And  thus  be 
gan  the  Upper  Fall. 

Meantime  the  stream  below  kept  digging  deeper 
the  canyon  of  Sulphur  Creek,  and  there  came  a  time 


when  the  lower  lake  drained  wholly  away.  In  its  place 
was  left  a  bottom-land  which  is  now  a  part  of  the  Hay- 
den  Valley,  and,  running  through  it,  a  river.  Forth 
with  this  river  began  scooping,  from  the  Great  Fall  to 
Inspiration  Point,  the  scenic  ditch  which  is  world-cele 
brated  to-day  as  the  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Yellowstone. 


Now  imagine  this  whole  superlative  wilderness 
heavily  populated  with  wild  animals  in  a  state  of 
normal  living.  Imagine  thirty  thousand  elk,  for  in 
stance,  roaming  about  in  bands  of  half  a  dozen  to  half 
a  thousand.  Imagine  them  not  friendly,  perhaps,  but 
fearless,  with  that  entire  indifference  which  most 
animals  show  to  creatures  which  neither  help  nor  harm 
them — as  indifferent,  say,  as  the  rabbits  in  your  pas 
ture  or  the  squirrels  in  your  oak  woods.  Imagine  all 
the  wild  animals,  except  the  sneaking,  predatory  kind, 
proportionally  plentiful  and  similarly  fearless — bear, 
antelope,  mountain- sheep,  deer,  bison,  even  moose  in 
the  fastnesses,  to  say  nothing  of  the  innumerable 
smaller  beasts.  There  has  been  no  hunting  of  harm 
less  animals  in  the  Yellowstone  since  1894,  and  this  is 
one  result. 

It  is  true  that  comparatively  few  visitors  see  many 
animals,  but  that  is  the  fault  of  their  haste  or  their 
temperament  or  their  inexperience  of  nature.  One 
must  seek  in  sympathy  to  find.  Tearing  over  the 
wilderness  roads  in  noisy  motors  smelling  of  gasolene 


is  not  the  best  way  to  find  them,  although  the  elk  and 
deer  became  indifferent  to  automobiles  as  soon  as 
they  discovered  them  harmless.  One  may  see  them 
not  infrequently  from  automobiles  and  often  from 
horse-drawn  wagons;  and  one  may  see  them  often 
and  intimately  who  walks  or  rides  horseback  on  the 

The  admission  of  the  automobile  to  Yellowstone 
roads  changed  seeing  conditions  materially.  In  five 
days  of  quiet  driving  in  1914  with  Colonel  L.  M.  Brett, 
then  superintendent  of  the  park,  in  a  direction  op 
posite  to  the  stages,  I  saw  more  animals  from  my 
wagon-seat  than  I  had  expected  to  see  wild  in  all  my 
life.  We  saw  bear  half  a  dozen  times,  elk  in  numbers, 
black-tailed  and  white-tailed  deer  so  frequently  that 
count  was  lost  the  second  morning,  four  bands  of  an 
telope,  buffalo,  foxes,  coyotes,  and  even  a  bull  moose. 
Once  we  stopped  so  as  not  to  hurry  a  large  bear  and 
two  cubs  which  were  leisurely  crossing  the  road. 
Deer  watched  us  pass  within  a  hundred  yards.  Elk 
grazed  at  close  quarters,  and  our  one  bull  moose 
obligingly  ambled  ahead  of  us  along  the  road.  There 
was  never  fear,  never  excitement  (except  my  own), 
not  even  haste.  Even  the  accustomed  horses  no  more 
than  cocked  an  ear  or  two  while  waiting  for  three  wild 
bears  to  get  out  of  the  middle  of  the  road. 

Of  course  scenic  completeness  is  enough  in  itself 
to  justify  the  existence  of  these  animals  in  the  marvel 
lous  wilderness  of  the  Yellowstone.  Their  presence 
in  normal  abundance  and  their  calm  at-homeness  per- 


fects  nature's  spectacle.  In  this  respect,  also,  Yellow 
stone's  unique  place  among  the  national  parks  is  secure. 

The  lessons  of  the  Yellowstone  are  plain.  It 
is  now  too  late  to  restore  elsewhere  the  great  nat 
ural  possession  which  the  thoughtless  savagery  of  a 
former  generation  destroyed  in  careless  ruth,  but, 
thanks  to  this  early  impulse  of  conservation,  a  fine 
example  still  remains  in  the  Yellowstone.  But  it  is 
not  too  late  to  obliterate  wholly  certain  misconcep 
tions  by  which  that  savagery  was  then  justified.  It 
is  not  too  late  to  look  upon  wild  animals  as  fellow  heri 
tors  of  the  earth,  possessing  certain  natural  rights  which 
men  are  glad  rather  than  bound  to  respect.  It  is  not 
too  late  to  consider  them,  with  birds  and  forests,  lakes, 
rivers,  seas,  and  skies,  a  part  of  nature's  glorious  gift 
for  man's  manifold  satisfaction,  a  gift  to  carefully  con 
serve  for  the  study  and  enjoyment  of  to-day,  and  to 
develop  for  the  uses  of  larger  and  more  appreciative 
generations  to  come. 

Of  course  if  this  be  brought  to  universal  accom 
plishment  (and  the  impulse  has  been  advancing  fast 
of  late),  it  must  be  Yellowstone's  part  to  furnish  the 
exhibit,  for  we  have  no  other. 

To  many  the  most  surprising  part  of  Yellowstone's 
wild-animal  message  is  man's  immunity  from  hatred 
and  harm  by  predatory  beasts.  To  know  that  wild 
bears  if  kindly  treated  are  not  only  harmless  but 
friendly,  that  grizzlies  will  not  attack  except  in  self- 
defense,  and  that  wolves,  wild  cats,  and  mountain- 
lions  fly  with  that  instinctive  dread  which  is  man's 


dependable  protection,  may  destroy  certain  romantic 
illusions  of  youth  and  discredit  the  observation  if 
not  the  conscious  verity  of  many  an  honest  hunter; 
but  it  imparts  a  modern  scientific  fact  which  sets 
the  whole  wild-animal  question  in  a  new  light.  In 
every  case  of  assault  by  bears  where  complete  evi 
dence  has  been  obtainable,  the  United  States  Biological 
Survey,  after  fullest  investigation,  has  exonerated 
the  bear;  he  has  always  been  attacked  or  has  had 
reason  to  believe  himself  attacked.  In  more  than 
thirty  summers  of  field-work  Vernon  Bailey,  Chief 
Field-Naturalist  of  the  Biological  Survey,  has  slept 
on  the  ground  without  fires  or  other  protection, 
and  frequently  in  the  morning  found  tracks  of  in 
vestigating  predatory  beasts.  There  are  reports  but 
no  records  of  human  beings  killed  by  wolves  or  moun 
tain-lions  in  America.  Yet,  for  years,  all  reports  sus 
ceptible  of  proof  have  been  officially  investigated. 

One  of  Yellowstone's  several  manifest  destinies 
is  to  become  the  well-patronized  American  school  of 
wild-life  study.  Already,  from  its  abundance,  it  is 
supplying  wild  animals  to  help  in  the  long  and  difficult 
task  of  restoring  here  and  there,  to  national  parks  and 
other  favorable  localities,  stocks  which  existed  before 
the  great  slaughter. 


Thirty  miles  south  of  this  rolling  volcanic  inter 
lude  the  pristine  Rockies,  as  if  in  shame  of  their  mo 
ment  of  gorgeous  softness,  rear  in  contrast  their  sharp 
est  and  most  heroic  monument  of  bristling  granite. 


Scarcely  over  the  park's  southern  boundary,  the  foot 
hills  of  the  Teton  Mountains  swell  gently  toward  their 
Gothic  climax.  The  country  opens  and  roughens. 
The  excellent  road,  which  makes  Jackson's  Hole  a  prac 
tical  part  of  the  Yellowstone  pleasure-ground,  winds 
through  a  rolling,  partly  wooded  grazing-ground  of 
elk  and  deer.  The  time  was  when  these  wild  herds 
made  living  possible  for  the  nation's  hunted  despera 
does,  for  Jackson's  Hole  was  the  last  refuge  to  yield 
to  law  and  order. 

At  the  climax  of  this  sudden  granite  protest,  the 
Grand  Teton  rises  7,014  feet  in  seeming  sheerness 
from  Jackson  Lake  to  its  total  altitude  of  13,747  feet. 
To  its  right  is  Mount  Moran,  a  monster  only  less. 
The  others,  clustering  around  them,  have  no  names. 

All  together,  they  are  few  and  grouped  like  the 
units  of  some  fabulous  barbaric  stronghold.  Fitted 
by  size  and  majesty  to  be  the  climax  of  a  mighty  range, 
the  Tetons  concentrate  their  all  in  this  one  giant 
group.  Quickly,  north  and  south,  they  subside  and 
pass.  They  are  a  granite  island  in  a  sea  of  plain. 

Seen  across  the  lake  a  dozen  miles  which  seem  but 
three,  these  clustered  steepled  temples  rise  sheer  from 
the  water.  Their  flanks  are  snow-streaked  still  in 
August,  their  shoulders  hung  with  glaciers,  their  spires 
bare  and  shining.  A  greater  contrast  to  the  land  from 
which  we  came  and  to  which  we  presently  return 
cannot  be  imagined.  Geologically,  the  two  have 
nothing  in  common.  Scenically,  the  Tetons  set  off 
and  complete  the  spectacle  of  the  Yellowstone. 

From  a  photograph  by  Charles  D.  Walcott 



From  a  photograph  by  Ilaynes 





IF  this  chapter  is  confined  to  the  three  volcano  tops 
which  Congress  reserved  on  the  islands  of  Hawaii 
and  Maui  in  1917,  wonderful  though  these  are,  it  will 
describe  a  small  part  indeed  of  the  wide  range  of 
novelty,  charm,  and  beauty  which  will  fall  to  the  lot 
of  those  who  visit  the  Hawaii  National  Park.  One  of 
the  great  advantages  enjoyed  by  this  national  park, 
as  indeed  by  Mount  McKinley's,  is  its  location  in  a 
surrounding  of  entire  novelty,  so  that  in  addition  to 
the  object  of  his  visit,  itself  so  supremely  worth  while, 
the  traveller  has  also  the  pleasure  of  a  trip  abroad. 

In  novelty  at  least  the  Hawaii  National  Park  has 
the  advantage  over  the  Alaskan  park  because  it  in 
volves  the  life  and  scenery  of  the  tropics.  We  can 
find  snow-crowned  mountains  and  winding  glaciers  at 
home,  but  not  equatorial  jungles,  sandalwood  groves, 
and  surf-riding. 

Enormous  as  this  element  of  charm  unquestion 
ably  is,  this  is  not  the  place  to  sing  the  pleasures  of 
the  Hawaiian  Islands.  Their  palm-fringed  horizons, 

surf-edged  coral  reefs,  tropical  forests  and  gardens, 



plantations  of  pineapple  and  sugar-cane  are  as  cele 
brated  as  their  rainbows,  earthquakes,  and  graceful 
girls  dancing  under  tropical  stars  to  the  languorous 

Leaving  these  and  kindred  spectacles  to  the  steam 
ship  circulars  and  the  library  shelf,  it  is  our  part  to 


note  that  the  Hawaii  National  Park  possesses  the  fourth 
largest  volcanic  crater  in  the  world,  whose  aspect  at 
sunrise  is  one  of  the  world's  famous  spectacles,  the 
largest  active  volcano  in  the  world,  and  a  lake  of  tur 
bulent,  glowing,  molten  lava,  "the  House  of  Ever 
lasting  Fire,"  which  fills  the  beholder  with  awe. 


It  was  not  at  all,  then,  the  gentle  poetic  aspects 
of  the  Hawaiian  Islands  which  led  Congress  to  create 
a  national  park  there,  though  these  form  its  romantic, 
contrasted  setting.  It  was  the  extraordinary  volcanic 
exhibit,  that  combination  of  thrilling  spectacles  of 
Nature's  colossal  power  which  for  years  have  drawn 
travellers  from  the  four  quarters  of  the  earth.  The 
Hawaii  National  Park  includes  the  summits  of  Hale- 
akala,  on  the  island  of  Maui,  and  Mauna  Loa  and 
Kilauea,  on  the  island  of  Hawaii. 

Spain  claims  the  discovery  of  these  delectable 
isles  by  Juan  Gaetano,  in  1555,  but  their  formal  dis 
covery  and  exploration  fell  to  the  lot  of  Captain  James 
Cook,  in  1778.  The  Hawaiians  thought  him  a  god 
and  loaded  him  with  the  treasures  of  the  islands,  but 
on  his  return  the  following  year  his  illness  and  the  con 
duct  of  his  crew  ashore  disillusioned  them;  they  killed 
him  and  burned  his  flesh,  but  their  priests  deified  his 
bones,  nevertheless.  Parts  of  these  were  recovered 
later  and  a  monument  was  erected  over  them.  Then 
civil  wars  raged  until  all  the  tribes  were  conquered, 
at  the  end  of  the  eighteenth  century,  by  one  chieftain, 
Kamehameha,  who  became  king.  His  descendants 
reigned  until  1874  when,  the  old  royal  line  dying  out, 
Kalakaua  was  elected  his  successor. 

From  this  time  the  end  hastened.  A  treaty  with 
the  United  States  ceded  Pearl  Harbor  as  a  coaling-sta 
tion  and  entered  American  goods  free  of  duty,  in  return 
for  which  Hawaiian  sugar  and  a  few  other  products  en 
tered  the  United  States  free.  This  established  the 


sugar  industry  on  a  large  and  permanent  scale  and 
brought  laborers  from  China,  Japan,  the  Azores,  and 
Madeira.  More  than  ten  thousand  Portuguese  mi 
grated  to  the  islands,  and  the  native  population  began 
a  comparative  decrease  which  still  continues. 

After  Kalakaua's  death,  his  sister  Liliuokalani 
succeeding  him  in  1891,  the  drift  to  the  United  States 
became  rapid.  When  President  Cleveland  refused 
to  annex  the  islands,  a  republic  was  formed  in  1894, 
but  the  danger  from  Japanese  immigration  became 
so  imminent  that  in  1898,  during  the  Spanish- American 
War,  President  McKinley  yielded  to  the  Hawaiian 
request  and  the  islands  were  annexed  to  the  United 
States  by  resolution  of  Congress. 

The  setting  for  the  picture  of  our  island-park  will 
be  complete  with  several  facts  about  its  physical  origin. 
The  Hawaiian  Islands  rose  from  the  sea  in  a  series  of 
volcanic  eruptions.  Originally,  doubtless,  the  greater 
islands  were  simple  cones  emitting  lava,  ash,  and 
smoke,  which  coral  growths  afterward  enlarged  and 
enriched.  Kauai  was  the  first  to  develop  habitable 
conditions,  and  the  island  southeast  of  it  followed  in 
order.  Eight  of  the  twelve  are  now  habitable. 

The  most  eastern  island  of  the  group  is  Hawaii. 
It  is  also  much  the  largest.  This  has  three  volcanoes. 
Mauna  Loa,  greatest  of  the  three,  and  also  the  greatest 
volcanic  mass  in  the  world,  is  nearly  the  centre  of  the 
island;  Kilauea  lies  a  few  miles  east  of  it;  the  summits 
of  both  are  included  in  the  national  park.  Mauna 
Kea,  a  volcanic  cone  of  great  beauty  in  the  north  cen- 


tre  of  the  island,  forming  a  triangle  with  the  other 
two,  is  not  a  part  of  the  national  park. 

Northwest  of  Hawaii  across  sixty  miles  or  more  of 
salt  water  is  the  island  of  Maui,  second  largest  of  the 
group.  In  its  southern  part  rises  the  distinguished 
volcano  of  Haleakala,  whose  summit  and  world-famous 
crater  is  the  third  member  of  the  national  park.  The 
other  habited  islands,  in  order  westward,  are  Kahoo- 
lawe,  Lanai,  Molokai,  Oahu,  Kauai,  and  Niihau;  no 
portions  of  these  are  included  in  the  park.  Kahoo- 
lawe,  Lanai,  and  Niihau  are  much  the  smallest  of  the 


Of  the  three  volcanic  summits  which  concern  us, 
Haleakala  is  nearest  the  principal  port  of  Honolulu, 
though  not  always  the  first  visited.  Its  slopes  nearly 
fill  the  southern  half  of  the  island  of  Maui. 

The  popular  translation  of  the  name  Haleakala  is 
"The  House  of  the  Sun";  literally  the  word  means 
"The  House  Built  by  the  Sun."  The  volcano  is  a 
monster  of  more  than  ten  thousand  feet,  which  bears 
upon  its  summit  a  crater  of  a  size  and  beauty  that 
make  it  one  of  the  world's  show-places.  This  crater 
is  seven  and  a  half  miles  long  by  two  and  a  third 
miles  wide.  Only  three  known  craters  exceed  Halea- 
kala's  in  size.  Aso  san,  the  monster  crater  of  Japan, 
largest  by  far  in  the  world,  is  fourteen  miles  long  by 
ten  wide  and  contains  many  farms.  Lago  di  Bolseno, 
in  Italy,  next  in  size,  measures  eight  and  a  half  by  seven 


and  a  half  miles;  and  Monte  Albano,  also  in  Italy, 
eight  by  seven  miles. 

Exchanging  your  automobile  for  a  saddle-horse  at 
the  volcano's  foot,  you  spend  the  afternoon  in  the 
ascent.  Wonderful  indeed,  looking  back,  is  the  grow 
ing  arc  of  plantation  and  sea,  islands  growing  upon  the 
horizon,  Mauna  Kea  and  Mauna  Loa  lifting  distant 
snow-tipped  peaks.  You  spend  the  night  in  a  rest- 
house  on  the  rim  of  the  crater,  but  not  until  you  have 
seen  the  spectacle  of  sunset;  and  in  the  gray  of  the 
morning  you  are  summoned  to  the  supreme  spectacle 
of  sunrise.  Thousands  have  crossed  seas  for  Halea- 
kala's  sunrise. 

That  first  view  of  the  crater  from  the  rim  is  one 
never  to  be  forgotten.  Its  floor  lies  two  thousand 
feet  below,  an  enormous  rainless,  rolling  plain  from 
which  rise  thirteen  volcanic  cones,  clean-cut,  as  regular 
in  form  as  carven  things.  Several  of  these  are  seven 
hundred  feet  in  height.  "It  must  have  been  awe- 
inspiring,"  writes  Castle,  "when  its  cones  were  spouting 
fire,  and  rivers  of  scarlet  molten  lava  crawled  along  the 

The  stillness  of  this  spot  emphasizes  its  emo 
tional  effect.  A  word  spoken  ordinarily  loud  is  like 
a  shout.  You  can  hear  the  footsteps  of  the  goats  far 
down  upon  the  crater  floor.  Upon  this  floor  grow 
plants  known  nowhere  else;  they  are  famous  under 
the  name  of  Silver  Swords — yucca-like  growths  three 
or  four  feet  high  whose  drooping  filaments  of  bloom 
gleam  like  polished  silver  stilettos. 


When  Mark  Twain  saw  the  crater,  "vagrant 
white  clouds  came  drifting  along,  high  over  the  sea 
and  valley;  then  they  came  in  couples  and  groups; 
then  in  imposing  squadrons;  gradually  joining  their 
forces,  they  banked  themselves  solidly  together  a 
thousand  feet  under  us  and  totally  shut  out  land  and 
ocean;  not  a  vestige  of  anything  was  left  in  view,  but 
just  a  little  of  the  rim  of  the  crater  circling  away  from 
the  pinnacle  whereon  we  sat,  for  a  ghostly  procession 
of  wanderers  from  the  filmy  hosts  without  had  drifted 
through  a  chasm  in  the  crater  wall  and  filed  round 
and  round,  and  gathered  and  sunk  and  blended  together 
till  the  abyss  was  stored  to  the  brim  with  a  fleecy  fog. 
Thus  banked,  motion  ceased,  and  silence  reigned. 
Clear  to  the  horizon,  league  on  league,  the  snowy  folds, 
with  shallow  creases  between,  and  with  here  and  there 
stately  piles  of  vapory  architecture  lifting  themselves 
aloft  out  of  the  common  plain — some  near  at  hand, 
some  in  the  middle  distances,  and  others  relieving  the 
monotony  of  the  remote  solitudes.  There  was  little 
conversation,  for  the  impressive  scene  overawed  speech. 
I  felt  like  the  Last  Man,  neglected  of  the  judgment, 
and  left  pinnacled  in  mid-heaven,  a  forgotten  relic  of 
a  vanished  world." 

The  extraordinary  perfection  of  this  desert  crater 
is  probably  due  to  two  causes.  Vents  which  tapped  it 
far  down  the  volcano's  flanks  prevented  its  filling  with 
molten  lava;  absence  of  rain  has  preserved  its  walls 
intact  and  saved  its  pristine  beauty  from  the  deface 
ment  of  erosion. 


Haleakala  has  its  legend,  and  this  Jack  London 
has  sifted  to  its  elements  and  given  us  in  "The  Cruise 
of  the  Snark."  I  quote: 

"It  is  told  that  long  ago,  one  Maui,  the  son  of 
Hina,  lived  on  what  is  now  known  as  West  Maui. 
His  mother,  Hina,  employed  her  time  in  the  making 
of  kapas.  She  must  have  made  them  at  night,  for 
her  days  were  ocdipied  in  trying  to  dry  the  kapas. 
Each  morning,  and  all  morning,  she  toiled  at  spreading 
them  out  in  the  sun.  But  no  sooner  were  they  out 
than  she  began  taking  them  in  in  order  to  have  them 
all  under  shelter  for  the  night.  For  know  that  the 
days  were  shorter  then  than  now.  Maui  watched  his 
mother's  futile  toil  and  felt  sorry  for  her.  He  decided 
to  do  something — oh,  no,  not  to  help  her  hang  out  and 
take  in  the  kapas.  He  was  too  clever  for  that.  His 
idea  was  to  make  the  sun  go  slower.  Perhaps  he  was 
the  first  Hawaiian  astronomer.  At  any  rate,  he  took 
a  series  of  observations  of  the  sun  from  various  parts 
of  the  island.  His  conclusion  was  that  the  sun's  path 
was  directly  across  Haleakala.  Unlike  Joshua,  he 
stood  in  no  need  of  divine  assistance.  He  gathered  a 
huge  quantity  of  cocoanuts,  from  the  fibre  of  which  he 
braided  a  stout  cord,  and  in  one  end  of  which  he  made 
a  noose,  even  as  the  cowboys  of  Haleakala  do  to  this 

"Next  he  climbed  into  the  House  of  the  Sun. 
When  the  sun  came  tearing  along  the  path,  bent  on 
completing  its  journey  in  the  shortest  time  possible, 
the  valiant  youth  threw  his  lariat  around  one  of  the 


sun's  largest  and  strongest  beams.  He  made  the  sun 
slow  down  some;  also,  he  broke  the  beam  short  off. 
And  he  kept  on  roping  and  breaking  off  beams  till  the 
sun  said  it  was  willing  to  listen  to  reason.  Maui  set 
forth  his  terms  of  peace,  which  the  sun  accepted, 
agreeing  to  go  more  slowly  thereafter.  Wherefore 
Hina  had  ample  time  in  which  to  dry  her  kapas,  and 
the  days  are  longer  than  they  used  to  be,  which  last 
is  quite  in  accord  with  the  teachings  of  modern  as 


Sixty  miles  south  of  Maui,  Hawaii,  largest  of  the 
island  group,  contains  the  two  remaining  parts  of  our 
national  park.  From  every  point  of  view  Mauna 
Loa  and  Mauna  Kea,  both  snow-crowned  monsters 
approaching  fourteen  thousand  feet  of  altitude,  dom 
inate  the  island.  But  Mauna  Kea  is  not  a  part  of  the 
national  park;  Kilauea,  of  less  than  a  third  its  height, 
shares  that  honor  with  Mauna  Loa.  Of  the  two, 
Kilauea  is  much  the  older,  and  doubtless  was  a  con 
spicuous  figure  in  the  old  landscape.  It  has  been 
largely  absorbed  in  the  immense  swelling  bulk  of 
Mauna  Loa,  which,  springing  later  from  the  island 
soil  near  by,  no  doubt  diverting  Kilauea's  vents  far 
below  sea-level,  has  sprawled  over  many  miles.  So 
nearly  has  the  younger  absorbed  the  older,  that 
Kilauea's  famous  pit  of  molten  lava  seems  almost  to 
lie  upon  Mauna  Loa's  slope. 

Mauna  Loa  soars  13,675  feet.    Its  snowy  dome 


shares  with  Mauna  Kea,  which  rises  even  higher,  the 
summit  honors  of  the  islands.  From  Hilo,  the  principal 
port  of  the  island  of  Hawaii,  Mauna  Loa  suggests  the 
back  of  a  leviathan,  its  body  hidden  in  the  mists. 
The  way  up,  through  forests  of  ancient  mahogany 
and  tangles  of  giant  tree-fern,  then  up  many  miles  of 
lava  slopes,  is  one  of  the  inspiring  tours  in  the  moun 
tain  world.  The  summit  crater,  Mokuaweoweo,  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  long  by  a  quarter  mile  wide,  is  as 
spectacular  in  action  as  that  of  Kilauea. 

This  enormous  volcanic  mass  has  grown  of  its  own 
output  in  comparatively  a  short  time.  For  many 
decades  it  has  been  extraordinarily  frequent  in  erup 
tion.  Every  five  ox  ten  years  it  gets  into  action  with 
violence,  sometimes  at  the  summit,  oftener  of  recent 
years  since  the  central  vent  has  lengthened,  at  weak 
ened  places  on  its  sides.  Few  volcanoes  have  been  so 
regularly  and  systematically  studied. 


The  most  spectacular  exhibit  of  the  Hawaii 
National  Park  is  the  lake  of  fire  in  the  crater  of  Kilauea. 

Kilauea  is  unusual  among  volcanoes.  It  follows 
few  of  the  popular  conceptions.  Older  than  the  tower 
ing  Mauna  Loa,  its  height  is  only  four  thousand  feet. 
Its  lavas  have  found  vents  through  its  flanks,  which 
they  have  broadened  and  flattened.  Doubtless  its 
own  lavas  have  helped  Mauna  Loa's  to  merge  the  two 
mountains  into  one.  It  is  no  longer  explosive  like  the 
usual  volcano;  since  1790,  when  it  destroyed  a  native 

From  a  photograph  copyright  by  E.  M.  Xewman  -     ->   j, 


Photographed  at  night  by  the  light  of  its  flaming  lava^     '      *      * 

From  a  photograph  copyright  by  Newman  Travel  Talks  and  Brown  and  Dawson 


army,  it  has  ejected  neither  rocks  nor  ashes.  Its 
crater  is  no  longer  definitely  bowl-shaped.  From  the 
middle  of  a  broad  flat  plain,  which  really  is  what  is 
left  of  the  ancient  great  crater,  drops  a  pit  with  ver 
tical  sides  within  which  boil  its  lavas. 

The  pit,  the  lake  of  fire,  is  Halemaumau,  com 
monly  translated  "The  House  of  Everlasting  Fire"; 
the  correct  translation  is  "The  House  of  the  Maumau 
Fern,"  whose  leaf  is  twisted  and  contorted  like  some 
forms  of  lava.  Two  miles  and  a  little  more  from 
Halemaumau,  on  a  part  of  the  ancient  crater  wall, 
stands  the  Hawaiian  Volcano  Observatory,  which  is 
under  the  control  of  the  Massachusetts  Institute  of 
Technology.  The  observatory  was  built  for  the 
special  purpose  of  studying  the  pit  of  fire,  the  risings 
and  fallings  of  whose  lavas  bear  a  relationship  toward 
the  volcanism  of  Mauna  Loa  which  is  scientifically 
important,  but  which  we  need  not  discuss  here. 

The  traveller  enters  Hawaii  by  steamer  through 
Hilo.  He  reaches  the  rim  of  Kilauea  by  automobile, 
an  inspiring  run  of  thirty-one  miles  over  a  road  of  vol 
canic  glass,  bordered  with  vegetation  strange  to  eyes 
accustomed  only  to  that  of  the  temperate  zone — bril 
liant  hibiscus,  native  hardwood  trees  with  feathery 
pompons  for  blossoms,  and  the  giant  ferns  which  tower 
overhead.  On  the  rim  are  the  hotels  and  the  observa 
tory.  Steam- jets  emerge  at  intervals,  and  hot  sulphur 
banks  exhibit  rich  yellows.  From  there  the  way  de 
scends  to  the  floor  of  the  crater  and  unrolls  a  ribbon 
of  flower-bordered  road  seven  miles  long  to  the  pit  of 


fire.  By  trail,  the  distance  is  only  two  miles  and  a 
half  across  long  stretches  of  hard  lava  congealed  in 
ropes  and  ripples  and  strange  contortions.  Where  else 
is  a  spectacle  one-tenth  as  appalling  so  comfortably 
and  quickly  reached  ? 

Halemaumau  is  an  irregular  pit  a  thousand  feet 
long  with  perpendicular  sides.  Its  depth  varies. 
Sometimes  one  looks  hundreds  of  feet  down  to  the 
boiling  surface;  sometimes  its  lavas  overrun  the  top. 
The  fumes  of  sulphur  are  very  strong,  with  the  wind  in 
your  face.  At  these  times,  too,  the  air  is  extremely 
hot.  There  are  cracks  in  the  surrounding  lava  where 
you  can  scorch  paper  or  cook  a  beefsteak. 

Many  have  been  the  attempts  to  describe  it.  Not 
having  seen  it  myself,  I  quote  two  here;  one  a  careful 
picture  by  a  close  student  of  the  spectacle,  Mr.  William 
R.  Castle,  Jr.,  of  Honolulu;  the  other  a  rapid  sketch 
by  Mark  Twain. 

"By  daylight/1  writes  Castle,  "the  lake  of  fire  is 
a  greenish-yellow,  cut  with  ragged  cracks  of  red  that 
look  like  pale  streaks  of  stationary  lightning  across  its 
surface.  It  is  restless,  breathing  rapidly,  bubbling  up 
at  one  point  and  sinking  down  in  another;  throwing 
up  sudden  fountains  of  scarlet  molten  lava  that  play 
a  few  minutes  and  subside,  leaving  shimmering  mounds 
which  gradually  settle  to  the  level  surface  of  the  lake, 
turning  brown  and  yellow  as  they  sink. 

"But  as  the  daylight  fades  the  fires  of  the  pit 
shine  more  brightly.  Mauna  Loa,  behind,  becomes  a 
pale,  gray-blue,  insubstantial  dome,  and  overhead  stars 


begin  to  appear.  As  darkness  comes  the  colors  on 
the  lake  grow  so  intense  that  they  almost  hurt.  The 
fire  is  not  only  red;  it  is  blue  and  purple  and  orange 
and  green.  Blue  flames  shimmer  and  dart  about  the 
edges  of  the  pit,  back  and  forth  across  the  surface  of 
the  restless  mass.  Sudden  fountains  paint  blood-red 
the  great  plume  of  sulphur  smoke  that  rises  con 
stantly,  to  drift  away  across  the  poisoned  desert  of 
Kau.  Sometimes  the  spurts  of  lava  are  so  violent,  so 
exaggerated  by  the  night,  that  one  draws  back  terri 
fied  lest  some  atom  of  their  molten  substance  should 
spatter  over  the  edge  of  the  precipice.  Sometimes  the 
whole  lake  is  in  motion.  Waves  of  fire  toss  and  bat 
tle  with  each  other  and  dash  in  clouds  of  bright  ver 
milion  spray  against  the  black  sides  of  the  pit.  Some 
times  one  of  these  sides  falls  in  with  a  roar  that  echoes 
back  and  forth,  and  mighty  rocks  are  swallowed  in 
the  liquid  mass  of  fire  that  closes  over  them  in  a  whirl 
pool,  like  water  over  a  sinking  ship. 

"Again  everything  is  quiet,  a  thick  scum  forms 
over  the  surface  of  the  lake,  dead,  like  the  scum  on 
the  surface  of  a  lonely  forest  pool.  Then  it  shivers. 
Flashes  of  fire  dart  from  side  to  side.  The  centre 
bursts  open  and  a  huge  fountain  of  lava  twenty  feet 
thick  and  fifty  high,  streams  into  the  air  and  plays  for 
several  minutes,  waves  of  blinding  fire  flowing  out 
from  it,  dashing  against  the  sides  until  the  black  rocks 
are  starred  all  over  with  bits  of  scarlet.  To  the  spec 
tator  there  is,  through  it  all,  no  sense  of  fear.  So  in 
tense,  so  tremendous  is  the  spectacle  that  silly  little 


human  feelings  find  no  place.  All  sensations  are  sub 
merged  in  a  sense  of  awe." 

Mark  Twain  gazed  into  Halemaumau's  terrifying 
depths.  "It  looked,"  he  writes,  "like  a  colossal  rail 
road-map  of  the  State  of  Massachusetts  done  in  chain 
lightning  on  a  midnight  sky.  Imagine  it — imagine  a 
coal-black  sky  shivered  into  a  tangled  network  of 
angry  fire ! 

"Here  and  there  were  gleaming  holes  a  hundred 
feet  in  diameter,  broken  in  the  dark  crust,  and  in  them 
the  melted  lava — the  color  a  dazzling  white  just  tinged 
with  yellow — was  boiling  and  surging  furiously;  and 
from  these  holes  branched  numberless  bright  torrents 
in  many  directions,  like  the  spokes  of  a  wheel,  and  kept 
a  tolerably  straight  course  for  a  while  and  then  swept 
round  in  huge  rainbow  curves,  or  made  a  long  succes 
sion  of  sharp  worm-fence  angles,  which  looked  pre 
cisely  like  the  fiercest  jagged  lightning.  Those  streams 
met  other  streams,  and  they  mingled  with  and  crossed 
and  recrossed  each  other  in  every  conceivable  direction, 
like  skate-tracks  on  a  popular  ska  ting-ground.  Some 
times  streams  twenty  or  thirty  feet  wide  flowed  from 
the  holes  to  some  distance  without  dividing — and 
through  the  opera-glasses  we  could  see  that  they  ran 
down  small,  steep  hills  and  were  genuine  cataracts  of 
fire,  white  at  their  source,  but  soon  cooling  and  turning 
to  the  richest  red,  grained  with  alternate  lines  of  black 
and  gold.  Every  now  and  then  masses  of  the  dark 
crust  broke  away  and  floated  slowly  down  these 
streams  like  rafts  down  a  river. 


"Occasionally,  the  molten  lava  flowing  under  the 
superincumbent  crust  broke  through — split  a  dazzling 
streak,  from  five  hundred  to  a  thousand  feet  long,  like 
a  sudden  flash  of  lightning,  and  then  acre  after  acre  of 
the  cold  lava  parted  into  fragments,  turned  up  edge 
wise  like  cakes  of  ice  when  a  great  river  breaks  up, 
plunged  downward,  and  were  swallowed  in  the  crim 
son  caldron.  Then  the  wide  expanse  of  the  'thaw' 
maintained  a  ruddy  glow  for  a  while,  but  shortly 
cooled  and  became  black  and  level  again.  During  a 
'thaw'  every  dismembered  cake  was  marked  by  a 
glittering  white  border  which  was  superbly  shaded 
inward  by  aurora  borealis  rays,  which  were  a  flaming 
yellow  where  they  joined  the  white  border,  and  from 
thence  toward  their  points  tapered  into  glowing  crim 
son,  then  into  a  rich,  pale  carmine,  and  finally  into  a 
faint  blush  that  held  its  own  a  moment  and  then 
dimmed  and  turned  black.  Some  of  the  streams  pre 
ferred  to  mingle  together  in  a  tangle  of  fantastic  cir 
cles,  and  then  they  looked  something  like  the  confusion 
of  ropes  one  sees  on  a  ship's  deck  when  she  has  just 
taken  in  sail  and  dropped  anchor — provided  one  can 
imagine  those  ropes  on  fire. 

"Through  the  glasses,  the  little  fountains  scat 
tered  about  looked  very  beautiful.  They  boiled,  and 
coughed,  and  spluttered,  and  discharged  sprays  of 
stringy  red  fire — of  about  the  consistency  of  mush,  for 
instance — from  ten  to  fifteen  feet  into  the  air,  along 
with  a  shower  of  brilliant  white  sparks — a  quaint  and 
unnatural  mingling  of  gouts  of  blood  and  snowflakes." 


One  can  descend  the  sides  and  approach  surpris 
ingly  close  to  the  flaming  surface,  the  temperature  of 
which,  by  the  way,  is  1750  degrees  Fahrenheit. 

Such  is  "The  House  of  Everlasting  Fire"  to-day. 
But  who  can  say  what  it  will  be  a  year  or  a  decade 
hence?  A  clogging  or  a  shifting  of  the  vents  below 
sea-level,  and  Kilauea's  lake  of  fire  may  become  again 
explosive.  Who  will  deny  that  Kilauea  may  not  soar 
even  above  Mauna  Loa?  Stranger  things  have  hap 
pened  before  this  in  the  Islands  of  Surprise. 




THE  national  parks  which  are  wrought  in  sedimen 
tary  rocks  are  Glacier,  Mesa  Verde,  Hot  Springs, 
Platt,  Wind  Cave,  Sully's  Hill,  and  Grand  Canyon. 
Zion  National  Monument  is  carved  from  sedimentary 
rock;  also  several  distinguished  reservations  in  our 
southwest  which  conserve  natural  bridges  and  petri 
fied  forests. 

Sedimentary  rocks  have  highly  attractive  scenic 
quality.  Lying  in  strata  usually  horizontal  but  often 
inclined  by  earth  movements,  sometimes  even  stand 
ing  on  end,  they  form  marked  and  pleasing  contrasts 
with  the  heavy  massing  of  the  igneous  rocks  and  the 
graceful  undulations  and  occasional  sharp-pointed  sum 
mits  of  the  lavas. 

As  distinguished  from  igneous  rocks,  which  form 
under  pressure  in  the  earth's  hot  interior,  and  from 
lava,  which  results  from  volcanic  eruption  when  fluid 
igneous  rocks  are  released  from  pressure,  sedimentary 
rocks  are  formed  by  the  solidification  of  precipitations 
in  water,  like  limestone;  or  from  material  resulting 
from  rock  disintegrations  washed  down  by  streams, 
like  sandstone  and  shale.  The  beds  in  which  they  lie 
one  above  another  exhibit  a  wide  range  of  tint  and 



texture,  often  forming  spectacles  of  surpassing  beauty 
and  grandeur. 

These  strata  tend  to  cleave  vertically,  sometimes 
producing  an  appearance  suggestive  of  masonry,  fre 
quently  forming  impressive  cliffs;  but  often  they  lie 
in  unbroken  beds  of  great  area.  When  a  number  of 
well-defined  strata  cleave  vertically,  and  one  end  of 
the  series  sags  below  the  other,  or  lifts  above  it,  the 
process  which  geologists  call  faulting,  the  scenic  effect 
is  varied  and  striking;  sometimes,  as  in  Glacier  Na 
tional  Park,  it  is  puzzling  and  amazing. 

Many  granitic  and  volcanic  landscapes  are  varie 
gated  in  places  by  accidental  beds  of  sedimentary 
rock;  and  conversely  occasional  sedimentary  land 
scapes  are  set  off  by  intrusions  of  igneous  rocks. 

Besides  variety  of  form,  sedimentary  rocks  fur 
nish  a  wide  range  of  color  derived  from  mineral  dyes 
dissolved  out  of  rocks  by  erosion.  The  gorgeous  tint 
of  the  Vermilion  Cliff  in  Utah  and  Arizona,  the  reds  and 
greens  of  the  Grand  Canyon  and  Glacier  National  Park, 
the  glowing  cliffs  of  the  Canyon  de  CheJly,  and  the 
variegated  hues  of  the  Painted  Desert  are  examples 
which  have  become  celebrated. 

Geologists  distinguish  many  kinds  of  sedimentary 
rocks.  Scenically,  we  need  consider  only  four:  lime 
stone,  conglomerate,  sandstone,  and  shale. 

Limestone  is  calcium  carbonate  derived  principally 
from  sea-water,  sometimes  from  fresh  water,  either  by 
the  action  of  microscopic  organisms  which  absorb  it  for 
their  shells,  or  occasionally  by  direct  precipitation  from 


saturated  solutions.  The  sediment  from  organisms, 
which  is  the  principal  source  of  American  scenic  lime 
stones,  collects  as  ooze  in  shallow  lakes  or  seas,  and 
slowly  hardens  when  lifted  above  the  water-level. 
Limestone  is  a  common  and  prominent  scenic  rock; 
generally  it  is  gray  or  blue  and  weathers  pale  yellow. 
Moisture  seeping  in  from  above  often  reduces  soluble 
minerals  which  drain  away,  leaving  caves  which  some 
times  have  enormous  size. 

The  other  sedimentary  rocks  which  figure  promi 
nently  in  landscape  are  products  of  land  erosion  which 
rivers  sweep  into  seas  or  lakes,  where  they  are  promptly 
deposited.  The  coarse  gravels  which  naturally  fall 
first  become  conglomerate  when  cemented  by  the  ac 
tion  of  chemicals  in  water.  The  finer  sandy  particles 
become  sandstone.  The  fine  mud,  which  deposits  last, 
eventually  hardens  into  shale. 

Shale  has  many  varieties,  but  is  principally  hard 
ened  clay;  it  tends  to  split  into  slate-like  plates  each 
the  thickness  of  its  original  deposit.  It  is  usually  dull 
brown  or  slate  color,  but  sometimes,  as  in  Glacier  Na 
tional  Park  and  the  Grand  Canyon,  shows  a  variety  of 
more  or  less  brilliant  colors  and,  by  weathering,  a  wide 
variety  of  kindred  tints. 

Sandstone,  which  forms  wherever  moving  water 
or  wind  has  collected  sands,  and  pressure  or  chemical 
action  has  cemented  them,  is  usually  buff,  but  some 
times  is  brilliantly  colored. 

The  processes  of  Nature  have  mixed  the  earth's 
scenic  elements  in  seemingly  inextricable  confusion, 


and  the  task  of  the  geologist  has  been  colossal.  For 
tunately  for  us,  the  elements  of  scenery  are  few,  and 
their  larger  combinations  broad  and  simple.  Once 
the  mind  has  grasped  the  outline  and  the  processes, 
and  the  eye  has  learned  to  distinguish  elements  and 
recognize  forms,  the  world  is  recreated  for  us. 




TO  say  that  Glacier  National  Park  is  the  Canadian 
Rockies  done  in  Grand  Canyon  colors  is  to  ex 
press  a  small  part  of  a  complicated  fact.  Glacier  is 
so  much  less  and  more.  It  is  less  in  its  exhibit  of  ice 
arid  snow.  Both  are  dying  glacial  regions,  and  Glacier 
is  hundreds  of  centuries  nearer  the  end;  no  longer  can 
it  display  snowy  ranges  in  August  and  long,  sinuous 
Alaska-like  glaciers  at  any  time.  Nevertheless,  it  has 
its  glaciers,  sixty  or  more  of  them  perched  upon  high 
rocky  shelves,  the  beautiful  shrunken  reminders  of 
one-time  monsters.  Also  it  has  the  precipice-walled 
cirques  and  painted,  lake-studded  valleys  which  these 
monsters  left  for  the  enjoyment  of  to-day. 

It  is  these  cirques  and  valleys  which  constitute 
Glacier's  unique  feature,  which  make  it  incomparable 
of  its  kind.  Glacier's  innermost  sanctuaries  of  grandeur 
are  comfortably  accessible  and  intimately  enjoyable 
for  more  than  two  months  each  summer.  The  great 
est  places  of  the  Canadian  Rockies  are  never  accessible 
comfortably;  alpinists  may  clamber  over  their  icy 
crevasses  and  scale  their  slippery  heights  in  August, 



but  the  usual  traveller  will  view  their  noblest  spec 
tacles  from  hotel  porches  or  valley  trails. 

This  comparison  is  useful  because  both  regions  are 
parts  of  the  same  geological  and  scenic  development  in 
which  Glacier  may  be  said  to  be  scenically,  though  by 
no  means  geologically,  completed  and  the  Canadian 
Rockies  still  in  the  making.  A  hundred  thousand 
years  or  more  from  now  the  Canadian  Rockies  may  have 
reached,  except  for  coloring,  the  present  scenic  state  of 

Glacier  National  Park  hangs  down  from  the 
Canadian  boundary-line  in  northwestern  Montana, 
where  it  straddles  the  continental  divide.  Adjoining 
it  on  the  north  is  the  Waterton  Lakes  Park,  Canada. 
The  Blackfeet  Indian  Reservation  borders  it  on  the 
east.  Its  southern  boundary  is  Marias  Pass,  through 
which  the  Great  Northern  Railway  crosses  the  crest 
of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  Its  western  boundary  is 
the  North  Fork  of  the  Flathead  River.  The  park 
contains  fifteen  hundred  and  thirty-four  square  miles. 

Communication  between  the  east  and  west  sides 
within  the  park  is  only  by  trail  across  passes  over  the 
continental  divide. 

There  are  parts  of  America  quite  as  distinguished 
as  Glacier:  Mount  McKinley,  for  its  enormous  snowy 
mass  and  stature;  Yosemite,  for  the  quality  of  its 
valley's  beauty;  Mount  Rainier,  for  its  massive  radi 
ating  glaciers;  Crater  Lake,  for  its  color  range  in  pearls 
and  blues;  Grand  Canyon,  for  its  stupendous  painted 
gulf.  But  there  is  no  part  of  America  or  the  Americas, 


or  of  the  world,  to  match  it  of  its  kind.  In  respect  to 
the  particular  wondrous  thing  these  glaciers  of  old 
left  behind  them  when  they  shrank  to  shelved  trifles, 
there  is  no  other.  At  Glacier  one  sees  what  he  never 
saw  elsewhere  and  never  will  see  again — except  at 
Glacier.  There  are  mountains  everywhere,  but  no 
others  carved  into  shapes  quite  like  these;  cirques  in 
all  lofty  ranges,  but  not  cirques  just  such  as  these; 
and  because  of  these  unique  bordering  highlands  there 
are  nowhere  else  lakes  having  the  particular  kind  of 
charm  possessed  by  Glacier's  lakes. 

Visitors  seldom  comprehend  Glacier;  hence  they 
are  mute,  or  praise  in  generalities  or  vague  superla 
tives.  Those  who  have  not  seen  other  mountains 
find  the  unexpected  and  are  puzzled.  Those  who  have 
seen  other  mountains  fail  to  understand  the  difference 
in  these.  I  have  never  heard  comparison  with  any 
region  except  the  Canadian  Rockies,  and  this  seldom 
very  intelligent.  "I  miss  the  big  glaciers  and  snowy 
mountain- tops,"  says  the  traveller  of  one  type.  "You 
can  really  see  something  here  besides  snow,  and  how 
stunning  it  all  is ! "  says  the  traveller  of  another  type. 
"My  God,  man,  where  are  your  artists?"  cried  an 
Englishman  who  had  come  to  St.  Mary  Lake  to  spend 
a  night  and  was  finishing  his  week.  "They  ought  to 
be  here  in  regiments.  Not  that  this  is  the  greatest 
thing  in  the  world,  but  that  there's  nothing  else  in 
the  world  like  it."  Yet  this  emotional  traveller,  who 
had  seen  the  Himalayas,  Andes,  and  Canadian  Rockies, 
could  not  tell  me  clearly  why  it  was  different.  Neither 


could  the  others  explain  why  they  liked  it  better  than 
the  Canadian  Rockies,  or  why  its  beauty  puzzled  and 
disturbed  them.  It  is  only  he  whom  intelligent  travel 
has  educated  to  analyze  and  distinguish  who  sees  in 
the  fineness  and  the  extraordinary  distinction  of 
Glacier's  mountain  forms  the  completion  of  the  more 
heroic  undevelopment  north  of  the  border. 


The  elements  of  Glacier's  personality  are  so  un 
usual  that  it  will  be  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to 
make  phrase  describe  it.  Comparison  fails.  Pho 
tographs  will  help,  but  not  very  efficiently,  because 
they  do  not  convey  its  size,  color,  and  reality;  or  per 
haps  I  should  say  its  unreality,  for  there  are  places 
like  Two  Medicine  Lake  in  still  pale  mid-morning, 
St.  Mary  Lake  during  one  of  its  gold  sunsets,  and  the 
cirques  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Belly  River  under 
all  conditions  which  never  can  seem  actual. 

To  picture  Glacier  as  nearly  as  possible,  imagine 
two  mountain  ranges  roughly  parallel  in  the  north, 
where  they  pass  the  continental  divide  between  them 
across  a  magnificent  high  intervening  valley,  and,  in 
the  south,  merging  into  a  wild  and  apparently  plan 
less  massing  of  high  peaks  and  ranges.  Imagine  these 
mountains  repeating  everywhere  huge  pyramids,  enor 
mous  stone  gables,  elongated  cones,  and  many  other 
unusual  shapes,  including  numerous  saw-toothed  edges 
which  rise  many  thousand  feet  upward  from  swelling 


sides,  and  suggest  nothing  so  much  as  overturned  keel- 
boats.  Imagine  ranges  glacier-bitten  alternately  on 
either  side  with  cirques  of  three  or  four  thousand  feet 
of  precipitous  depth.  Imagine  these  cirques  often  so 
nearly  meeting  that  the  intervening  walls  are  knife- 
like  edges;  miles  of  such  walls  carry  the  continental 
divide,  and  occasionally  these  cirques  meet  and  the 
intervening  wall  crumbles  and  leaves  a  pass  across  the 
divide.  Imagine  places  where  cirque  walls  have  been 
so  bitten  outside  as  well  as  in  that  they  stand  like 
amphitheatres  builded  up  from  foundations  instead  of 
gouged  out  of  rock  from  above. 

Imagine  these  mountains  plentifully  snow-spat 
tered  upon  their  northern  slopes  and  bearing  upon 
their  shoulders  many  small  and  beautiful  glaciers 
perched  upon  rock-shelves  above  and  back  of  the 
cirques  left  by  the  greater  glaciers  of  which  they  are  the 
remainders.  These  glaciers  are  nearly  always  wider 
than  they  are  long;  of  these  I  have  seen  only  three 
with  elongated  lobes.  One  is  the  Blackfeet  Glacier, 
whose  interesting  west  lobe  is  conveniently  situated 
for  observation  south  of  Gunsight  Lake,  and  another, 
romantically  beautiful  Agassiz  Glacier,  in  the  far 
northwest  of  the  park,  whose  ice-currents  converge 
in  a  tongue  which  drops  steeply  to  its  snout.  These 
elongations  are  complete  miniatures,  each  exhibiting 
in  little  more  than  half  a  mile  of  length  all  usual  gla 
cial  phenomena,  including  caves  and  ice-falls.  Occa 
sionally,  as  on  the  side  of  Mount  Jackson  at  Gunsight 
Pass  and  east  of  it,  one  notices  small  elongated  gla- 


tiers  occupying  clefts  in  steep  slopes.  The  largest  and 
most  striking  of  these  tongued  glaciers  is  the  western 
most  of  the  three  Carter  Glaciers  on  the  slopes  of 
Mount  Carter.  It  cascades  its  entire  length  into  Bow 
man  Valley,  and  Marius  R.  Campbell's  suggestion  that 
it  should  be  renamed  the  Cascading  Glacier  deserves 

Imagine  deep  rounded  valleys  emerging  from  these 
cirques  and  twisting  snakelike  among  enormous  and 
sometimes  grotesque  rock  masses  which  often  are  in 
conceivably  twisted  and  tumbled,  those  of  each  drain 
age-basin  converging  fanlike  to  its  central  valley. 
Sometimes  a  score  or  more  of  cirques,  great  and  small, 
unite  their  valley  streams  for  the  making  of  a  river; 
seven  principal  valleys,  each  the  product  of  such  a 
group,  emerge  from  the  east  side  of  the  park,  thirteen 
from  the  west. 

Imagine  hundreds  of  lakes  whose  waters,  fresh- 
run  from  snow-field  and  glacier,  brilliantly  reflect  the 
odd  surrounding  landscape.  Each  glacier  has  its  lake 
or  lakes  of  robin's-egg  blue.  Every  successive  shelf 
of  every  glacial  stairway  has  its  lake — one  or  more. 
And  every  valley  has  its  greater  lake  or  string  of  lakes. 
Glacier  is  pre-eminently  the  park  of  lakes.  When  all 
is  said  and  done,  they  constitute  its  most  distinguished 
single  element  of  supreme  beauty.  For  several  of 
them  enthusiastic  admirers  loudly  claim  world  pre 

And  finally  imagine  this  picture  done  in  soft 
glowing  colors — not  only  the  blue  sky,  the  flowery 


meadows,  the  pine-green  valleys,  and  the  innumerable 
many-hued  waters,  but  the  rocks,  the  mountains,  and 
the  cirques  besides.  The  glaciers  of  old  penetrated  the 
most  colorful  depths  of  earth's  skin,  the  very  ancient 
Algonkian  strata,  that  from  which  a  part  of  the  Grand 
Canyon  also  was  carved.  At  this  point,  the  rocks  ap 
pear  in  four  differently  colored  layers.  The  lowest  of 
these  is  called  the  Altyn  limestone.  There  are  about 
sixteen  hundred  feet  of  it,  pale  blue  within,  weather 
ing  pale  buff.  Whole  yellow  mountains  of  this  rock 
hang  upon  the  eastern  edge  of  the  park.  Next  above 
the  Altyn  lies  thirty-four  hundred  feet  of  Appekunny 
argillite,  or  dull-green  shale.  The  tint  is  pale,  deep 
ening  to  that  familiar  in  the  lower  part  of  the  Grand 
Canyon.  It  weathers  every  darkening  shade  to  very 
dark  greenish-brown.  Next  above  that  lies  twenty- 
two  hundred  feet  of  Grinnell  argillite,  or  red  shale,  a 
dull  rock  of  varying  pinks  which  weathers  many  shades 
of  red  and  purple,  deepening  in  places  almost  to  black. 
There  is  some  gleaming  white  quartzite  mixed  with 
both  these  shales.  Next  above  lies  more  than  four 
thousand  feet  of  Siyeh  limestone,  very  solid,  very 
massive,  iron-gray  with  an  insistent  flavor  of  yellow, 
and  weathering  buff.  This  heavy  stratum  is  the  most 
impressive  part  of  the  Glacier  landscape.  Horizon 
tally  through  its  middle  runs  a  dark  broad  ribbon  of 
diorite,  a  rock  as  hard  as  granite,  which  once,  while 
molten,  burst  from  below  and  forced  its  way  between 
horizontal  beds  of  limestone;  and  occasionally,  as  in 
the  Swiftcurrent  and  Triple  Divide  Passes,  there  are 


dull  iron-black  lavas  in  heavy  twisted  masses.  Above 
all  of  these  colored  strata  once  lay  still  another  shale 
of  very  brilliant  red.  Fragments  of  this,  which  ge 
ologists  call  the  Kintla  formation,  may  be  seen  top 
ping  mountains  here  and  there  in  the  northern  part  of 
the  park. 

Imagine  these  rich  strata  hung  east  and  west 
across  the  landscape  and  sagging  deeply  in  the  middle, 
so  that  a  horizontal  line  would  cut  all  colors  diagonally. 

Now  imagine  a  softness  of  line  as  well  as  color 
resulting  probably  from  the  softness  of  the  rock;  there 
is  none  of  the  hard  insistence,  the  uncompromising 
defmiteness  of  the  granite  landscape.  And  imagine 
further  an  impression  of  antiquity,  a  feeling  akin  to 
that  with  which  one  enters  a  mediaeval  ruin  or  sees 
the  pyramids  of  Egypt.  Only  here  is  the  look  of  im 
mense,  unmeasured,  immeasurable  age.  More  than 
at  any  place  except  perhaps  the  rim  of  the  Grand 
Canyon  does  one  seem  to  stand  in  the  presence  of  the 
infinite;  an  instinct  which,  while  it  baffles  analysis,  is 
sound,  for  there  are  few  rocks  of  the  earth's  skin  so 
aged  as  these  ornate  shales  and  limestones. 

And  now,  at  last,  you  can  imagine  Glacier ! 


But,  with  Glacier,  this  is  not  enough.  To  see,  to 
realize  in  full  its  beauty,  still  leaves  one  puzzled.  One 
of  the  peculiarities  of  the  landscape,  due  perhaps  to  its 
differences,  is  its  insistence  upon  explanation.  How 


came  this  prehistoric  plain  so  etched  with  cirques  and 
valleys  as  to  leave  standing  only  worm-like  crests, 
knife-edged  walls,  amphitheatres,  and  isolated  peaks? 
The  answer  is  the  story  of  a  romantic  episode  in  the 
absorbing  history  of  America's  making. 

Somewhere  between  forty  and  six  hundred  million 
years  ago,  according  to  the  degree  of  conservatism  con 
trolling  the  geologist  who  does  the  calculating,  these 
lofty  mountains  were  deposited  in  the  shape  of  muddy 
sediments  on  the  bottom  of  shallow  fresh-water  lakes, 
whose  waves  left  many  ripple  marks  upon  the  soft 
muds  of  its  shores,  fragments  of  which,  hardened  now 
to  shale,  are  frequently  found  by  tourists.  So  ancient 
was  the  period  that  these  deposits  lay  next  above  the 
primal  Archean  rocks,  and  marked,  therefore,  almost 
the  beginning  of  accepted  geological  history.  Life  was 
then  so  nearly  at  its  beginnings  that  the  forms  which 
Walcott  found  in  the  Siyeh  limestone  were  not  at  first 
fully  accepted  as  organic. 

Thereafter,  during  a  tune  so  long  that  none  may 
even  estimate  it,  certainly  for  many  millions  of  years, 
the  history  of  the  region  leaves  traces  of  no  extraor 
dinary  change.  It  sank  possibly  thousands  of  feet  be 
neath  the  fresh  waters  tributary  to  the  sea  which  once 
swept  from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  to  the  Arctic,  and 
accumulated  there  sediments  which  to-day  are  scenic 
limestones  and  shales,  and  doubtless  other  sediments 
above  these  which  have  wholly  passed  away.  It 
may  have  alternated  above  and  below  water-level 
many  times,  as  our  southwest  has  done.  Even- 


tually,  under  earth-pressures  concerning  whose  cause 
many  theories  have  lived  and  died,  it  rose  to  remain 
until  our  times. 

Then,  millions  of  years  ago,  but  still  recently  as 
compared  with  the  whole  vast  lapse  we  are  consider 
ing,  came  the  changes  which  seem  dramatic  to  us  as 
we  look  back  upon  them  accomplished;  but  which 
came  to  pass  so  slowly  that  no  man,  had  man  then 
lived,  could  have  noticed  a  single  step  of  progress  in 
the  course  of  a  long  life.  Under  earth-pressures  the 
skin  buckled  and  the  Rocky  Mountains  rose.  At 
some  stage  of  this  process  the  range  cracked  along  its 
crest  from  what  is  now  Marias  Pass  to  a  point  just 
over  the  Canadian  border,  and,  a  couple  of  hundred 
miles  farther  north,  from  the  neighborhood  of  Banff 
to  the  northern  end  of  the  Canadian  Rockies. 

Then  the  great  overthrust  followed.  Side-pres 
sures  of  inconceivable  power  forced  upward  the  west 
ern  edge  of  this  crack,  including  the  entire  crust  from 
the  Algonkian  strata  up,  and  thrust  it  over  the  eastern 
edge.  During  the  over  thrusting,  which  may  have 
taken  a  million  years,  and  during  the  millions  of  years 
since,  the  frosts  have  chiselled  open  and  the  rains  have 
washed  away  all  the  overthrust  strata,  the  accumula 
tions  of  the  geological  ages  from  Algonkian  times  down, 
except  only  that  one  bottom  layer.  This  alone  re 
mained  for  the  three  ice  invasions  of  the  Glacial  Age 
to  carve  into  the  extraordinary  area  which  is  called 
to-day  the  Glacier  National  Park. 

The  Lewis  Overthrust,  so  called  because  it  hap- 


pened  to  the  Lewis  Range,  is  ten  to  fifteen  miles  wide. 
The  eastern  boundary  of  the  park  roughly  defines  its 
limit  of  progress.  Its  signs  are  plain  to  the  eye  taught 
to  perceive  them.  The  yellow  mountains  on  the  east 
ern  edge  near  the  gateway  to  Lake  McDermott  lie 
on  top  of  the  Blackfeet  Indian  Reservation,  whose 
surface  is  many  millions  of  years  younger  and  quite 
different  in  coloring.  Similarly,  Chief  Mountain,  at 
the  entrance  of  the  Belly  River  Valley,  owes  much  of 
its  remarkable  distinction  to  the  incompatibility  of  its 
form  and  color  with  the  prairie  upon  which  it  lies 
but  out  of  which  it  seems  to  burst.  The  bottom  of 
McDermott  Falls  at  Many  Glacier  Hotel  is  plainly  a 
younger  rock  than  the  colored  Algonkian  limestones 
which  form  its  brink. 

Perhaps  thousands  of  years  after  the  overthrust 
was  accomplished  another  tremendous  faulting  still 
further  modified  the  landscape  of  to-day.  The  over- 
thrust  edge  cracked  lengthwise,  this  time  west  of  the 
continental  divide  all  the  way  from  the  Canadian  line 
southward  nearly  to  Marias  Pass.  The  edge  of  the 
strata  west  of  this  crack  sank  perhaps  many  thousands 
of  feet,  leaving  great  precipices  on  the  west  side  of  the 
divide  similar  to  those  on  the  east  side.  There  was 
this  great  difference,  however,  in  what  followed:  the 
elongated  gulf  or  ditch  thus  formed  became  filled  with 
the  deposits  of  later  geologic  periods. 

This  whole  process,  which  also  was  very  slow  in 
movement,  is  important  in  explaining  the  conforma 
tion  and  scenic  peculiarities  of  the  west  side  of  the 


park,  which,  as  the  tourist  sees  it  to-day,  is  remarkably 
different  from  those  of  the  east  side.  Here,  the  great 
limestone  ranges,  glaciered,  cirqued,  and  precipiced  as 
on  the  east  side,  suddenly  give  place  to  broad,  un 
dulating  plains  which  constitute  practically  the  whole 
of  the  great  west  side  from  the  base  of  the  mountains 
on  the  east  to  the  valley  of  the  Flathead  which  forms 
the  park's  western  boundary.  These  plains  are  grown 
thickly  with  splendid  forests.  Cross  ranges,  largely 
glacier-built,  stretch  west  from  the  high  mountains, 
subsiding  rapidly;  and  between  these  ranges  lie  long 
winding  lakes,  forest-grown  to  their  edges,  which  carry 
the  western  drainage  of  the  continental  divide  through 
outlet  streams  into  the  Flathead. 

The  inconceivable  lapse  of  time  covered  in  these 
titanic  operations  of  Nature  and  their  excessive  slow 
ness  of  progress  rob  them  of  much  of  their  dramatic 
quality.  Perhaps  an  inch  of  distance  was  an  extraor 
dinary  advance  for  the  Lewis  Overthrust  to  make  in 
any  ordinary  year,  and  doubtless  there  were  lapses  of 
centuries  when  no  measurable  advance  was  made. 
Yet  sometimes  sudden  settlings,  accompanied  by  more 
or  less  extended  earthquakes,  must  have  visibly  altered 
local  landscapes. 

Were  it  possible,  by  some  such  mental  fore 
shortening  as  that  by  which  the  wizards  of  the  screen 
compress  a  life  into  a  minute,  for  imagination  to 
hasten  this  progress  into  the  compass  of  a  few  hours, 
how  overwhelming  would  be  the  spectacle !  How 
tremendously  would  loom  this  advancing  edge,  which 


at  first  we  may  conceive  as  having  enormous  thickness ! 
How  it  must  have  cracked,  crumbled,  and  fallen  in 
frequent  titanic  crashes  as  it  moved  forward.  It  does 
not  need  the  imagination  of  Dore  to  picture  this  ad 
vance,  thus  hastened  in  fancy,  grim,  relentless  as  death, 
its  enormous  towering  head  lost  in  eternal  snows,  its 
feet  shaken  by  earthquakes,  accumulating  giant  gla 
ciers  only  to  crush  them  into  powder;  resting,  then 
pushing  forward  in  slow,  smashing,  reverberating 
shoves.  How  the  accumulations  of  all  periods  may 
be  imagined  crashing  together  into  the  depths!  Si 
lurian  gastropods,  strange  Devonian  fishes,  enormous 
Triassic  reptiles,  the  rich  and  varied  shells  of  the 
Jurassic,  the  dinosaurs  and  primitive  birds  of  Cre 
taceous,  the  little  early  horses  of  Eocene,  and  Mi 
ocene's  camels  and  mastodons  mingling  their  fossil 
remnants  in  a  democracy  of  ruin  to  defy  the  eternal 

It  all  happened,  but  unfortunately  for  a  romantic 
conception,  it  did  not  happen  with  dramatic  speed. 
Hundreds,  thousands,  sometimes  millions  of  years  in 
tervened  between  the  greater  stages  of  progress  which, 
with  intervening  lesser  stages,  merged  into  a  seldom- 
broken  quietude  such  as  that  which  impresses  to-day's 
visitor  to  the  mountain-tops  of  Glacier  National  Park. 
And  who  can  say  that  the  landscape  which  to-day's 
visitor,  with  the  inborn  arrogance  of  man,  looks  upon 
as  the  thing  which  the  ages  have  completed  for  his 
pleasure,  may  not  merely  represent  a  minor  stage  in  a 
progress  still  more  terrible? 


The  grist  of  Creation's  past  milling  has  disap 
peared.  The  waters  of  heaven,  collected  and  stored 
in  snow-fields  and  glaciers  to  be  released  in  seasonal 
torrents,  have  washed  it  all  away.  Not  a  sign  remains 
to-day  save  here  and  there  perhaps  a  fragment  of 
Cretaceous  coal.  All  has  been  ground  to  powder  and 
carried  off  by  flood  and  stream  to  enrich  the  soils  and 
upbuild  later  strata  in  the  drainage  basins  of  the 
Saskatchewan,  the  Columbia,  and  the  Mississippi. 

It  is  probable  that  little  remained  but  the  Algon- 
kian  shales  and  limestones  when  the  Ice  Age  sent 
southward  the  first  of  its  three  great  invasions.  Doubt 
less  already  there  were  glaciers  there  of  sorts,  but  the 
lowering  temperatures  which  accompanied  the  ice- 
sheets  developed  local  glaciers  so  great  of  size  that  only 
a  few  mountain- tops  were  left  exposed.  It  was  then 
that  these  extraordinary  cirques  were  carved.  There 
were  three  such  periods  during  the  Ice  Age,  between 
which  and  after  which  stream  erosion  resumed  its  un 
tiring  sway.  The  story  of  the  ice  is  written  high  upon 
Glacier's  walls  and  far  out  on  the  eastern  plains. 


Into  this  wonderland  the  visitor  enters  by  one  of 
two  roads.  Either  he  leaves  the  railroad  at  Glacier 
Park  on  the  east  side  of  the  continental  divide  or  at 
Bel  ton  on  the  west  side.  In  either  event  he  can  cross 
to  the  other  side  only  afoot  or  on  horseback  over 
passes.  The  usual  way  in  is  through  Glacier  Park. 


There  is  a  large  hotel  at  the  station  from  which  auto 
mobile-stages  run  northward  to  chalets  at  Two  Medicine 
Lake,  the  Cut  Bank  Valley,  and  St.  Mary  Lake,  and 
to  the  Many  Glacier  Hotel  and  chalets  at  Lake  McDer- 
mott.  A  road  also  reaches  Lake  McDermott  from 
Canada  by  way  of  Babb,  and  Canadian  visitors  can 
reach  the  trails  at  the  head  of  Waterton  Lake  by  boat 
from  their  own  Waterton  Lakes  Park.  Those  entering 
at  Bel  ton,  where  the  park  headquarters  are  located, 
find  chalets  at  the  railroad-station  and  an  excellent 
hotel  near  the  head  of  Lake  McDonald.  There  is  also 
a  comfortable  chalet  close  to  the  Sperry  Glacier. 

To  see  Glacier  as  thoroughly  as  Glacier  deserves 
and  to  draw  freely  on  its  abundant  resources  of  plea 
sure  and  inspiration,  one  must  travel  the  trails  and  pitch 
his  tent  where  day's  end  brings  him.  But  that  does 
not  mean  that  Glacier  cannot  be  seen  and  enjoyed  by 
those  to  whom  comfortable  hotel  accommodations  are 
a  necessity,  or  even  by  those  who  find  trail-travelling 

Visitors,  therefore,  fall  into  three  general  classes, 
all  of  whom  may  study  scenery  which  quite  fully  cov 
ers  the  range  of  Glacier's  natural  phenomena  and  pe 
culiar  beauty.  The  largest  of  these  classes  consists 
of  those  who  can  travel,  or  think  they  can  travel,  only 
in  vehicles,  and  can  find  satisfactory  accommodations 
only  in  good  hotels.  The  intermediate  class  includes 
those  who  can,  at  a  pinch,  ride  ten  or  twelve  miles  on 
comfortably  saddled  horses  which  walk  the  trails  at 
two  or  three  miles  an  hour,  and  who  do  not  object  to 


the  somewhat  primitive  but  thoroughly  comfortable 
overnight  accommodations  of  the  chalets.  Finally 
comes  the  small  class,  which  constantly  will  increase, 
of  those  who  have  the  time  and  inclination  to  leave 
the  beaten  path  with  tent  and  camping  outfit  for  the 
splendid  wilderness  and  the  places  of  supreme  mag 
nificence  which  are  only  for  those  who  seek. 

The  man,  then,  whose  tendency  to  gout,  let  us  say, 
forbids  him  ride  a  horse  or  walk  more  than  a  couple 
of  easy  miles  a  day  may,  nevertheless,  miss  nothing  of 
Glacier's  meaning  and  magnificence  provided  he  takes 
the  trouble  to  understand.  But  he  must  take  the 
trouble;  he  must  comprehend  the  few  examples  that 
he  sees;  this  is  his  penalty  for  refusing  the  rich  experi 
ence  of  the  trail,  which,  out  of  its  very  fulness,  drives 
meaning  home  with  little  mental  effort.  His  knowl 
edge  must  be  got  from  six  places  only  which  may  be 
reached  by  vehicle,  at  least  three  of  which,  however, 
may  be  included  among  the  world's  great  scenic 
places.  He  can  find  at  Two  Medicine,  St.  Mary,  and 
McDermott  superb  examples  of  Glacier's  principal 
scenic  elements. 

Entering  at  Glacier  Park,  he  will  have  seen  the 
range  from  the  plains,  an  important  beginning;  al 
ready,  approaching  from  the  east,  he  has  watched  it 
grow  wonderfully  on  the  horizon.  So  suddenly  do 
these  painted  mountains  spring  from  the  grassy  plain 
that  it  is  a  relief  to  recognize  in  them  the  advance 
guard  of  the  Lewis  Over  thrust,  vast  fragments  of  the 
upheavals  of  the  depths  pushed  eastward  by  the  cen- 


turies  to  their  final  resting-places  upon  the  surface  of 
the  prairie.  From  the  hotel  porches  they  glow  gray 
and  yellow  and  purple  and  rose  and  pink,  according  to 
the  natural  coloring  of  their  parts  and  the  will  of  the 
sun — a  splendid  ever-changing  spectacle. 


An  hour's  automobile-ride  from  Glacier  Park 
Hotel  will  enable  our  traveller  to  penetrate  the  range 
at  a  point  of  supreme  beauty  and  stand  beside  a  chalet 
at  the  foot  of  Two  Medicine  Lake.  He  will  face  what 
appears  to  be  a  circular  lake  in  a  densely  forested  val 
ley  from  whose  shore  rises  a  view  of  mountains  which 

will  take  his  breath.    In  the  near  centre  stands  a  cone 

of  enormous  size  and  magnificence — Mount  Rockwell 
— faintly  blue,  mistily  golden,  richly  purple,  dull  silver, 
or  red  and  gray,  according  to  the  favor  of  the  hour  and 
the  sky.  Upon  its  left  and  somewhat  back  rises  a 
smaller  similar  cone,  flatter  but  quite  as  perfectly 
proportioned,  known  as  Grizzly  Mountain,  and  upon 
its  right  less  regular  masses.  In  the  background,  con 
necting  all,  are  more  distant  mountains  flecked  with 
snow,  the  continental  divide.  Towering  mountains 
close  upon  him  upon  both  sides,  that  upon  his  right  a 
celebrity  in  red  argillite  known  as  Rising  Wolf.  He 
sees  all  this  from  a  beach  of  many-colored  pebbles. 

Few  casual  visitors  have  more  than  a  midday 
view  of  Two  Medicine  Lake,  for  the  stage  returns  in 
the  afternoon.  The  glory  of  the  sunset  and  the  won 
der  before  sunrise  are  for  the  few  who  stay  over  at  the 


chalet.  The  lover  of  the  exquisite  cannot  do  better, 
for,  though  beyond  lie  scenes  surpassing  this  in  the 
qualities  which  bring  to  the  lips  the  shout  of  joy,  I 
am  convinced  that  nothing  elsewhere  equals  the  Two 
Medicine  canvas  in  the  perfection  of  delicacy.  It  is 
the  Meissonier  of  Glacier. 

Nor  can  the  student  of  Nature's  processes  afford 
to  miss  the  study  of  Two  Medicine's  marvellously 
complete  and  balanced  system  of  cirques  and  valleys 
— though  this  of  course  is  not  for  the  rheumatic  trav 
eller  but  for  him  who  fears  not  horse  and  tent.  Such 
an  explorer  will  find  thrills  with  every  passing  hour. 
Giant  Mount  Rockwell  wilt  produce  one  when  a  side- 
view  shows  that  its  apparent  cone  is  merely  the  smaller 
eastern  end  of  a  ridge  two  miles  long  which  culmi 
nates  in  a  towering  summit  on  the  divide;  Pumpelly 
Filler,  with  the  proportions  of  a  monument  when  seen 
from  near  the  lake,  becomes,  seen  sideways,  another 
long  and  exceedingly  beautiful  ridge;  striking  exam 
ples,  these,  of  the  leavings  of  converging  glaciers  of 
old.  Two  Medicine  Lake  proves  to  be  long  and  narrow, 
the  chalet  view  being  the  long  way,  and  Upper  Two 
Medicine  Lake  proves  to  be  an  emerald-encircled  pearl 
in  a  silvery-gray  setting.  The  climax  of  such  a  sev 
eral  days'  trip  is  a  night  among  the  coyotes  at  the  head 
of  the  main  valley  and  a  morning  upon  Dawson  Pass 
overlooking  the  indescribable  tangle  of  peak,  precipice, 
and  canyon  lying  west  of  the  continental  divide. 

Taken  as  a  whole,  the  Two  Medicine  drainage- 
basin  is  an  epitome  of  Glacier  in  miniature.  To  those 


entering  the  park  on  the  east  side  and  seeing  it  first 
it  becomes  an  admirable  introduction  to  the  greater 
park.  To  those  who  have  entered  on  the  west  side 
and  finish  here  it  is  an  admirable  farewell  review, 
especially  as  its  final  picture  sounds  the  note  of  scenic 
perfection.  Were  there  nothing  else  of  Glacier,  this 
spot  would  become  in  tune  itself  a  world  celebrity. 
Incidentally,  exceedingly  lively  Eastern  brook-trout 
will  afford  an  interesting  hour  to  one  who  floats  a  fly 
down  the  short  stream  into  the  lakelet  at  the  foot  of 
Two  Medicine  Lake  not  far  below  the  chalet.  There 
are  also  fish  below  Trick  Falls. 


St.  Mary  Lake,  similarly  situated  in  the  outlet 
valley  of  a  much  greater  group  of  cirques  north  of 
Two  Medicine,  offers  a  picture  as  similar  in  kind  as 
two  canvases  are  similar  which  have  been  painted  by 
the  same  hand;  but  they  widely  differ  in  composition 
and  magnificence;  Two  Medicine's  preciousness  yields 
to  St.  Mary's  elemental  grandeur.  The  steamer  which 
brings  our  rheumatic  traveller  from  the  motor-stage 
at  the  foot  of  the  lake  lands  him  at  the  upper  chalet 
group,  appropriately  Swiss,  which  finds  vantage  on  a 
rocky  promontory  for  the  view  of  the  divide.  Gigan 
tic  moun tains  of  deep-red  argillite,  grotesquely  carved, 
close  in  the  sides,  and  with  lake  and  sky  wonderfully 
frame  the  amazing  central  picture  of  pointed  pyra 
mids,  snow-fields,  hanging  glaciers,  and  silvery  ridges 
merging  into  sky.  Seen  on  the  way  into  Glacier, 


St.  Mary  is  a  prophecy  which  will  not  be  fulfilled  else 
where  in  charm  though  often  far  exceeded  in  degree. 
Seen  leaving  Glacier,  it  combines  with  surpassing 
novelty  scenic  elements  whose  possibilities  of  further 
gorgeous  combination  the  trip  through  the  park  has 
seemed  to  exhaust. 

The  St.  Mary  picture  is  impossible  to  describe. 
Its  colors  vary  with  the  hours  and  the  atmosphere's 
changing  conditions.  It  is  silver,  golden,  mauve,  blue, 
lemon,  misty  white,  and  red  by  turn.  It  is  seen  clearly 
in  the  morning  with  the  sun  behind  you.  Afternoons 
and  sunsets  offer  theatrical  effects,  often  baffling, 
always  lovely  and  different.  Pointed  Fusillade  and 
peaked  Reynolds  Mountains  often  lose  their  tops  in 
lowering  mists.  So,  often,  does  Going-to-the-Sun 
Mountain  in  the  near-by  right  foreground.  So,  not 
so  often,  does  keel-shaped  Citadel  Mountain  on  the 
near-by  left;  also,  at  times,  majestic  Little  Chief,  he 
of  lofty  mien  and  snow-dashed  crown,  and  stolid  Red 
Eagle,  whose  gigantic  reflection  reddens  a  mile  of 
waters.  It  is  these  close-up  monsters  even  more  than 
the  colorful  ghosts  of  the  Western  horizon  which  stamp 
St.  Mary's  personality. 

From  the  porches  of  the  chalets  and  the  deck  of 
the  steamer  in  its  evening  tour  of  the  lake-end  the 
traveller  will  note  the  enormous  size  of  those  upper 
valleys  which  once  combined  their  glaciers  as  now  they 
do  their  streams.  He  will  guess  that  the  glacier  which 
once  swept  through  the  deep  gorge  in  whose  bottom 
now  lies  St.  Mary  Lake  was  several  thousand  feet  in 


thickness.  He  will  long  to  examine  those  upper  valleys 
and  reproduce  in  imagination  the  amazing  spectacle  of 
long  ago.  But  they  are  not  for  him.  That  vision  is 
reserved  for  those  who  ride  the  trails. 


Again  passing  north,  the  automobile-stage  reaches 
road's  end  at  McDermott  Lake,  the  fan-handle  of  the 
Swiftcurrent  drainage-basin.  Overlooking  a  magnifi-* 
cent  part  of  each  of  its  contributing  valleys,  the  lake, 
itself  supremely  beautiful,  may  well  deserve  its  repu 
tation  as  Glacier's  scenic  centre.  I  have  much  sym 
pathy  with  the  thousands  who  claim  supremacy  for 
McDermott  Lake.  Lake  McDonald  has  its  wonder 
fully  wooded  shores,  its  majestic  length  and  august 
vista;  Helen  Lake  its  unequalled  wildness;  Bowman 
Lake  its  incomparable  view  of  glacier-shrouded  divide. 
But  McDermott  has  something  of  everything;  it  is 
a  composite,  a  mosaic  masterpiece  with  every  stone  a 
gem.  There  is  no  background  from  which  one  looks 
forward  to  "the  view."  Its  horizon  contains  three 
hundred  and  sixty  degrees  of  view.  From  the  towering 
south  gable  of  that  rock-temple  to  God  the  Creator, 
which  the  map  calls  Mount  Gould,  around  the  circle, 
it  offers  an  unbroken  panorama  in  superlative. 

In  no  sense  by  way  of  comparison,  which  is  ab 
surd  between  scenes  so  different,  but  merely  to  help 
realization  by  contrast  with  what  is  well  known,  let 
us  recall  the  Yosemite  Valley.  Yosemite  is  a  valley, 
Swiftcurrent  an  enclosure.  Yosemite  is  gray  and 


shining,  Swiftcurrent  richer  far  in  color.  Yosemite's 
walls  are  rounded,  peaked,  and  polished,  Swiftcurrent's 
toothed,  torn,  and  crumbling;  the  setting  sun  shines 
through  holes  worn  by  frost  and  water  in  the  living  rock. 
Yosemite  guards  her  western  entrance  with  a  shaft  of 
gray  granite  rising  thirty-six  hundred  feet  from  the 
valley  floor,  and  her  eastern  end  by  granite  domes  of 
five  thousand  and  six  thousand  feet;  Swiftcurrent's 
rocks  gather  round  her  central  lake — Altyn,  thirty-two 
hundred  feet  above  the  lake's  level;  Henkel,  thirty- 
eight  hundred  feet;  Wilbur,  forty-five  hundred  feet; 
Grinnell,  four  thousand;  Gould,  forty-seven  hundred; 
Allen,  forty-five  hundred — all  of  colored  strata,  green 
at  base,  then  red,  then  gray.  Yosemite  has  its  wind 
ing  river  and  waterfalls,  Swiftcurrent  its  lakes  and 

Swiftcurrent  has  the  repose  but  not  the  softness  of 
Yosemite.  Yosemite  is  unbelievably  beautiful.  Swift- 
current  inspires  wondering  awe. 

McDermott  Lake,  focus  point  of  all  this  natural 
glory,  is  scarcely  a  mile  long,  and  narrow.  It  may  be 
vivid  blue  and  steel-blue  and  milky-blue,  and  half  a 
dozen  shades  of  green  and  pink  all  within  twice  as 
many  minutes,  according  to  the  whim  of  the  breeze, 
the  changing  atmosphere,  and  the  clouding  of  the  sun. 
Often  it  suggests  nothing  so  much  as  a  pool  of  dull- 
green  paint.  Or  it  may  present  a  reversed  image  of 
mountains,  glaciers,  and  sky  in  their  own  coloring. 
Or  at  sunset  it  may  turn  lemon  or  purple  or  crimson 
or  orange,  or  a  blending  of  all.  Or,  with  rushing  storm- 


clouds,  it  may  quite  suddenly  lose  every  hint  of  any 
color,  and  become  a  study  in  black,  white,  and  inter 
mediate  grays. 

There  are  times  when,  from  hotel  porch,  rock,  or 
boat,  the  towering  peaks  and  connecting  limestone 
walls  become  suddenly  so  fairylike  that  they  lose  all 
sense  of  reality,  seeming  to  merge  into  their  background 
of  sky,  from  which,  nevertheless,  they  remain  sharply 
differentiated.  The  rapidity  and  the  variety  of  change 
in  the  appearance  of  the  water  is  nothing  to  that  in 
the  appearance  of  these  magical  walls  and  mountains. 
Now  near,  now  distant;  now  luring,  now  forbidding; 
now  gleaming  as  if  with  their  own  light;  now  gloomy 
in  threat,  they  lose  not  their  hold  on  the  eye  for  a 
moment.  The  unreality  of  McDermott  Lake,  the  sense 
it  often  imparts  of  impossibility,  is  perhaps  its  most 
striking  feature.  One  suspects  he  dreams,  awake. 


To  realize  the  spot  as  best  we  may,  let  us  pause 
on  the  bridge  among  those  casting  for  trout  below  the 
upper  fall  and  glance  around.  To  our  left  rises  Allen 
Mountain,  rugged,  irregular,  forest-clothed  half-way 
up  its  forty-five  hundred  feet  of  elevation  above  the 
valley  floor.  Beyond  it  a  long  gigantic  wall  sets  in 
at  right  angles,  blue,  shining,  serrated,  supporting, 
apparently  on  the  lake  edge,  an  enormous  gable  end  of 
gray  limestone  banded  with  black  diorite,  a  veritable 
personality  comparable  with  Yosemite's  most  famous 
rocks.  This  is  Mount  Gould.  Next  is  the  Grinnell 


Glacier,  hanging  glistening  in  the  air,  dripping  water 
falls,  backgrounded  by  the  gnawed  top  of  the  venerable 
Garden  Wall.  Then  comes  in  turn  the  majestic  mass 
of  Mount  Grinnell,  four  miles  long,  culminating  at  the 
lakeside  in  an  enormous  parti-colored  pyramid  more 
impressive  from  the  hotel  than  even  Rockwell  is  from 
Two  Medicine  chalets.  Then,  upon  its  right,  appears 
a  wall  which  is  the  unnamed  continuation  of  the 
Garden  Wall,  and,  plastered  against  the  side  of  Swift- 
current  Mountain,  three  small  hanging  glaciers,  seem 
ing  in  the  distance  like  two  long  parallel  snow-banks. 
Then  Mount  Wilbur,  another  giant  pyramid,  gray, 
towering,  massively  carved,  grandly  proportioned, 
kingly  in  bearing !  Again  upon  its  right  emerges  still 
another  continuation,  also  unnamed,  of  the  Garden 
Wall,  this  section  loftiest  of  all  and  bitten  deeply  by 
the  ages.  A  part  of  it  is  instantly  recognized  from  the 
hotel  window  as  part  of  the  sky-line  surrounding  famous 
Iceberg  Lake.  Its  right  is  lost  behind  the  nearer  slopes 
of  red  Mount  Henkel,  which  swings  back  upon  our  right, 
bringing  the  eye  nearly  to  its  starting-point.  A  glance 
out  behind  between  mountains,  upon  the  limitless 
lake-dotted  plain,  completes  the  scenic  circle. 

McDermott  Lake,  by  which  I  here  mean  the  Swift- 
current  enclosure  as  seen  from  the  Many  Glacier 
Hotel,  is  illustrative  of  all  of  Glacier.  There  are  wilder 
spots,  by  far,  some  which  frighten;  there  are  places  of 
nobler  beauty,  though  as  I  write  I  know  I  shall  deny 
it  the  next  time  I  stand  on  McDermott's  shores;  there 
are  supreme  places  which  at  first  glance  seem  to  have 


no  kinship  with  any  other  place  on  earth.  Neverthe 
less,  McDermott  contains  all  of  Glacier's  elements,  all 
her  charm,  and  practically  all  her  combinations.  It 
is  the  place  of  places  to  study  Glacier.  It  is  also  a 
place  to  dream  away  idle  weeks. 

So  he  who  cannot  ride  or  walk  the  trails  may  still 
see  and  understand  Glacier  in  her  majesty.  Besides 
the  places  I  have  mentioned  he  may  see,  from  the  Cut 
Bank  Chalet,  a  characteristic  forested  valley  of  great 
beauty,  and  at  Lewis's  hotel  on  Lake  McDonald  the 
finest  spot  accessible  upon  the  broad  west  side,  the 
playground,  as  the  east  side  is  the  show-place,  of  hun 
dreds  of  future  thousands. 

So  many  are  the  short  horseback  trips  from 
Many  Glacier  Hotel  to  places  of  significance  and  beauty 
that  it  is  hard  for  the  timid  to  withstand  the  tempta 
tion  of  the  trail.  Four  miles  will  reach  Grinnell  Lake 
at  the  foot  of  its  glacier,  six  miles  will  penetrate  the 
Cracker  Lake  Gorge  at  the  perpendicular  base  of 
Mount  Siyeh,  eight  miles  will  disclose  the  astonishing 
spectacle  of  Iceberg  Lake,  and  nine  miles  will  cross  the 
Swiftcurrent  Pass  to  the  Granite  Park  Chalet. 


In  some  respects  Iceberg  Lake  is  Glacier's  supreme 
spectacle.  There  are  few  spots  so  wild.  There  may 
be  no  easily  accessible  spot  in  the  world  half  so  wild. 
Imagine  a  horseshoe  of  perpendicular  rock  wall,  twenty- 
seven  hundred  to  thirty-five  hundred  feet  high,  a  gla 
cier  in  its  inmost  curve,  a  lake  of  icebergs  in  its  centre. 


The  back  of  the  tower-peak  of  Mount  Wilbur  is  the 
southern  end  of  this  horseshoe.  This  enclosure  was 
not  built  up  from  below,  as  it  looks,  but  bitten  down 
within  and  without;  it  was  left.  On  the  edge  of  the 
lake  in  early  July  the  sun  sets  at  four  o'clock. 

Stupendous  as  Iceberg  Lake  is  as  a  spectacle,  its 
highest  purpose  is  illustrative.  It  explains  Glacier. 
Here  by  this  lakeside,  fronting  the  glacier's  floating 
edge  and  staring  up  at  the  jagged  top  in  front  and  on 
either  side,  one  comprehends  at  last.  The  appalling 
story  of  the  past  seems  real. 


It  is  at  Granite  Park  that  one  realizes  the  geog 
raphy  of  Glacier.  You  have  crossed  the  continental 
divide  and  emerged  upon  a  lofty  abutment  just  west  of 
it.  You  are  very  nearly  in  the  park's  centre,  and  on 
the  margin  of  a  forested  canyon  of  impressive  breadth 
and  depth,  lined  on  either  side  by  mountain  monsters, 
and  reaching  from  Mount  Cannon  at  the  head  of  Lake 
McDonald  northward  to  the  Alberta  plain.  The 
western  wall  of  this  vast  avenue  is  the  Livingston 
Range.  Its  eastern  wall  is  the  Lewis  Range.  Both 
in  turn  carry  the  continental  divide,  which  crosses  the 
avenue  from  Livingston  to  Lewis  by  way  of  low- 
crowned  Flattop  Mountain,  a  few  miles  north  of  where 
you  stand,  and  back  to  Livingston  by  way  of  Clements 
Mountain,  a  few  miles  south.  Opposite  you,  across 
the  chasm,  rises  snowy  Heavens  Peak.  Southwest 
lies  Lake  McDonald,  hidden  by  Heavens'  shoulder. 

From  a  photograph  by  Haynes 

T  )        -)    '       B          '         '"!         "•  •>  )         ' 


From  a  photograph  by  A .  J.  Thin 

Wall  on  the  left  encloses  Iceberg  Lake;  on  the  right  is  the  Belly  River  abyss;  Glacier  National  Park 


South  is  Logan  Pass,  carrying  another  trail  across  the 
divide,  and  disclosing  hanging  gardens  beyond  on 
Reynolds'  eastern  slope.  Still  south  of  that,  unseen 
from  here,  is  famous  Gunsight  Pass. 

It  is  a  stirring  spectacle.  But  wait.  A  half- 
hour's  climb  to  the  summit  of  Swiftcurrent  Mountain 
close  at  hand  (the  chalet  is  most  of  the  way  up,  to  start 
with)  and  all  of  Glacier  lies  before  you  like  a  model  in 
relief.  Here  you  see  the  Iceberg  Cirque  from  without 
and  above.  The  Belly  River  chasm  yawns  enormously. 
Mount  Cleveland,  monarch  of  the  region,  flaunts  his 
crown  of  snow  among  his  near-by  court  of  only  lesser 
monsters.  The  Avenue  of  the  Giants  deeply  splits  the 
northern  half  of  the  park,  that  land  of  extravagant 
accent,  mysterious  because  so  little  known;  the  Gla 
cier  of  tourists  lying  south.  A  marvellous  spectacle, 
this,  indeed,  and  one  which  clears  up  many  misconcep 
tions.  The  Canadian  Rockies  hang  on  the  misty 
northern  horizon,  the  Montana  plains  float  eastward, 
the  American  Rockies  roll  south  and  west. 


To  me  one  of  the  most  stirring  sights  in  all  Glacier 
is  the  view  of  Gunsight  Pass  from  the  foot  of  Gunsight 
Lake.  The  immense  glaciered  uplift  of  Mount  Jack 
son  on  the  south  of  the  pass,  the  wild  whitened  sides 
of  Gunsight  Mountain  opposite  dropping  to  the  up 
turned  strata  of  red  shale  at  the  water's  edge,  the  pass 
itself — so  well  named — perched  above  the  dark  preci 
pice  at  the  lake's  head,  the  corkscrew  which  the  trail 


makes  up  Jackson's  perpendicular  flank  and  its  pas 
sage  across  a  mammoth  snow-bank  high  in  air — these 
in  contrast  with  the  silent  black  water  of  the  sunken 
lake  produce  ever  the  same  thrill  however  often  seen. 
The  look  back,  too,  once  the  pass  is  gained,  down  St. 
Mary's  gracious  valley  to  Going-to-the-Sun  Mountain 
and  its  horizon  companions!  Sun  Mountain  (for 
short),  always  a  personality,  is  never  from  any  other 
point  of  view  so  undeniably  the  crowned  majesty  as 
from  Gunsight  Pass.  And  finally,  looking  forward, 
which  in  this  speaking  means  westward,  the  first 
revelation  of  Lake  Ellen  Wilson  gives  a  shock  of  awed 
astonishment  whose  memory  can  never  pass. 

Truly,  Gunsight  is  a  pass  of  many  sensations,  for, 
leaving  Lake  Ellen  Wilson  and  its  eighteen  hundred 
feet  of  vertical  frothing  outlet,  the  westward  trail 
crosses  the  shoulder  of  Lincoln  Peak  to  the  Sperry 
Glacier  and  its  inviting  chalet  (where  the  biggest  hoary 
marmot  I  ever  saw  sat  upon  my  dormitory  porch), 
and,  eight  miles  farther  down  the  mountain,  beautiful 
Lake  McDonald. 


Although  it  was  settled  earlier,  Glacier's  west  side 
is  less  developed  than  its  east  side;  this  because,  -for 
the  most  part,  its  scenery  is  less  sensational  though  no 
less  gorgeously  beautiful.  Its  five  long  lakes,  of  which 
McDonald  is  much  the  longest  and  largest,  head  up 
toward  the  snowy  monsters  of  the  divide;  their  thin 
bodies  wind  leisurely  westward  among  superbly  for- 


ested  slopes.  Its  day  is  still  to  come.  It  is  the  land 
of  the  bear,  the  moose,  the  deer,  the  trout,  and  summer 
leisure.  Its  destiny  is  to  become  Glacier's  vacation 


The  wild  north  side  of  Glacier,  its  larger,  bigger- 
featured,  and  occasionally  greater  part,  is  not  yet  for 
the  usual  tourist;  for  many  years  from  this  writing, 
doubtless,  none  will  know  it  but  the  traveller  with  tent 
and  pack-train.  He  alone,  and  may  his  tribe  increase, 
will  enjoy  the  gorgeous  cirques  and  canyons  of  the 
Belly  River,  the  wild  quietude  of  the  Waterton  Valley, 
the  regal  splendors  of  Brown  Pass,  and  the  headwater 
spectacles  of  the  Logging,  Quartz,  Bowman,  and  Kintla 
valleys.  He  alone  will  realize  that  here  is  a  land  of 
greater  power,  larger  measures,  and  bigger  horizons. 

And  yet  with  Kintla  comes  climax.  Crossing  the 
border  the  mountains  subside,  the  glaciers  disappear. 
Canada's  Waterton  Lakes  Park  begins  at  our  climax 
and  merges  in  half  a  dozen  miles  into  the  great  prairies 
of  Alberta.  It  is  many  miles  northwest  before  the 
Canadian  Rockies  assume  proportions  of  superlative 
scenic  grandeur. 


To  realize  the  growing  bigness  of  the  land  north 
ward  one  has  only  to  cross  the  wall  from  Iceberg  Lake 
into  the  Belly  River  canyon.  "Only,"  indeed!  In 
1917  it  took  us  forty  miles  of  detour  outside  the  park, 


even  under  the  shadow  of  Chief  Mountain,  to  cross  the 
wall  from  Iceberg  Lake,  the  west-side  precipice  of  which 
is  steeper  even  than  the  east.  The  Belly  River  drain 
age-basin  is  itself  bigger,  and  its  mountains  bulk  in 
proportion.  Eighteen  glaciers  contribute  to  the  making 
of  perhaps  as  many  lakes.  The  yellow  mountains  of 
its  northern  slopes  invade  Canada.  The  borders  of  its 
principal  valley  are  two  monster  mountains,  Cleve 
land,  the  greatest  in  the  park  for  mass  and  height  and 
intricate  outline;  the  other,  Merritt,  in  some  respects 
the  most  interesting  of  Glacier's  abundant  collection 
of  majestic  peaks. 

There  are  three  valleys.  The  North  Fork  finds 
its  way  quickly  into  Canada.  The  Middle  Fork  rises 
in  a  group  of  glaciers  high  under  the  continental  divide 
and  descends  four  giant  steps,  a  lake  upon  each  step, 
to  two  greater  lakes  of  noble  aspect  in  the  valley 
bottom.  The  South  Fork  emerges  from  Helen  Lake 
deep  in  the  gulf  below  the  Ahern  Glacier  across  the 
Garden  Wall  from  Iceberg  Lake.  Between  the  Mid 
dle  and  South  Forks  Mount  Merritt  rises  9,944  feet 
in  altitude,  minareted  like  a  mediaeval  fort  and  hollow 
as  a  bowl,  its  gaping  chasm  hung  with  glaciers. 

This  is  the  valley  of  abundance.  The  waters  are 
large,  their  trout  many  and  vigorous;  the  bottoms  are 
extravagantly  rich  in  grasses  and  flowers;  the  forests 
are  heavy  and  full-bodied;  there  is  no  open  place,  even 
miles  beyond  its  boundaries,  which  does  not  offer  views 
of  extraordinary  nobility.  Every  man  who  enters  it 
becomes  enthusiastically  prophetic  of  its  future.  After 


all,  the  Belly  River  country  is  easily  visited.  A 
leisurely  horseback  journey  from  McDermott,  that  is 
all;  three  days  among  the  strange  yellow  mountains 
of  the  overthrust's  eastern  edge,  including  two  after 
noons  among  the  fighting  trout  of  Kennedy  Creek  and 
Slide  Lake,  and  two  nights  in  camp  among  the  wild  bare 
arroyos  of  the  Algonkian  invasion  of  the  prairie — an 
interesting  prelude  to  the  fulness  of  wilderness  life  to 

I  dwell  upon  the  Belly  valleys  because  their  size, 
magnificence,  and  accessibility  suggest  a  future  of 
public  use;  nothing  would  be  easier,  for  instance,  than 
a  road  from  Babb  to  join  the  road  already  in  from 
Canada.  The  name  naturally  arouses  curiosity.  Why 
Belly?  Was  it  not  the  Anglo-Saxon  frontier's  pro 
nunciation  of  the  Frenchman's  original  Belle?  The 
river,  remember,  is  mainly  Canadian.  Surely  in  all 
its  forks  and  tributaries  it  was  and  is  the  Beautiful 


The  Avenue  of  the  Giants  looms  in  any  forecast 
of  Glacier's  future.  It  really  consists  of  two  valleys 
joined  end  on  at  their  beginnings  on  Flattop  Mountain; 
McDonald  Creek  flowing  south,  Little  Kootenai  flow 
ing  north.  The  road  which  will  replace  the  present 
trail  up  this  avenue  from  the  much-travelled  south  to 
Waterton  Lake  and  Canada  is  a  matter  doubtless  of 
a  distant  future,  but  it  is  so  manifestly  destiny  that  it 
must  be  accepted  as  the  key  to  the  greater  Glacier  to 


come.  Uniting  at  its  southern  end  roads  from  both 
sides  of  the  divide,  it  will  reach  the  Belly  valleys  by 
way  of  Ahern  Pass,  the  Bowman  and  Kintla  valleys 
by  way  of  Brown  Pass,  and  will  terminate  at  the  im 
portant  tourist  settlement  which  is  destined  to  grow 
at  the  splendid  American  end  of  Waterton  Lake.  In 
cidentally  it  will  become  an  important  motor-highway 
between  Canada  and  America.  Until  then,  though  all 
these  are  now  accessible  by  trail,  the  high  distinction 
of  the  Bowman  and  the  Kintla  valleys'  supreme  ex 
pression  of  the  glowing  genius  of  this  whole  country  will 
remain  unknown  to  any  considerable  body  of  travellers. 


And,  after  all,  the  Bowman  and  Kintla  regions  are 
Glacier's  ultimate  expression,  Bowman  of  her  beauty, 
Kintla  of  her  majesty.  No  one  who  has  seen  the  foam 
ing  cascades  of  Mount  Peabody  and  a  lost  outlet  of 
the  lofty  Boulder  Glacier  emerging  dramatically 
through  Hole-in-the-Wall  Fall,  for  all  the  world  like 
a  horsetail  fastened  upon  the  face  of  a  cliff,  who  has 
looked  upon  the  Guardhouse  from  Brown  Pass  and 
traced  the  distant  windings  of  Bowman  Lake  between 
the  fluted  precipice  of  Rainbow  Peak  and  the  fading 
slopes  of  Indian  Ridge;  or  has  looked  upon  the  mighty 
monolith  of  Kintla  Peak  rising  five  thousand  feet 
from  the  lake  in  its  gulf -like  valley,  spreading  upon  its 
shoulders,  like  wings  prepared  for  flight,  the  broad 
gleaming  glaciers  known  as  Kintla  and  Agassiz,  will 
withhold  his  guerdon  for  a  moment. 


Kintla  Peak,  Glacier  National  Park,  5,000  feet  above  the  las:e,  '.spreads  gjaniers  out  'e'iih^r 

way  like  wings  >  \j   ' 

From  a  photograph  by  M.  R.  Campbell 


It  heads  close  up  under  the  Continental  Divide,  where  is  found  some  of  the  most  striking 
scenery  of  America 


Here  again  we  repeat,  for  the  hundredth  or  more 
time  in  our  leisurely  survey  of  the  park,  what  the  Eng 
lishman  said  of  the  spectacle  of  St.  Mary:  " There  is 
nothing  like  it  in  the  world." 





MANY  years,  possibly  centuries,  before  Columbus 
discovered  America,  a  community  of  cliff-dwell 
ers  inhabiting  a  group  of  canyons  in  what  is  now 
southwestern  Colorado  entirely  disappeared. 

Many  generations  before  that,  again  possibly 
centuries,  the  founders  of  this  community,  abandoning 
the  primitive  pueblos  of  their  people  elsewhere,  had 
sought  new  homes  in  the  valleys  tributary  to  the 
Mancos  River.  Perhaps  they  were  enterprising  young 
men  and  women  dissatisfied  with  the  poor  and  unpro- 
gressive  life  at  home.  Perhaps  they  were  dissenters 
from  ancient  religious  forms,  outcasts  and  pilgrims, 
for  there  is  abundant  evidence  that  the  prehistoric 
sun-worshippers  of  our  southwest  were  deeply  religious, 
and  human  nature  is  the  same  under  skins  of  all  colors 
in  every  land  and  age.  More  likely  they  were  merely 
thrifty  pioneers  attracted  to  the  green  cedar-grown 
mesas  by  the  hope  of  better  conditions. 

Whatever  the  reason  for  their  pilgrimage,  it  is  a 
fair  inference  that,  like  our  own  Pilgrim  Fathers,  they 

were  sturdy  of  body  and  progressive  of  spirit,  for  they 



had  a  culture  which  their  descendants  carried  beyond 
that  of  other  tribes  and  communities  of  prehistoric 
people  in  America  north  of  the  land  of  the  Aztecs. 

Beginning  with  modest  stone  structures  of  the 
usual  cliff-dwellers'  type  built  in  deep  clefts  in  the 
mesa's  perpendicular  cliff,  safe  from  enemies  above 
and  below,  these  enterprising  people  developed  in 
time  a  complicated  architecture  of  a  high  order;  they 
advanced  the  arts  beyond  the  practice  of  their  fore 
fathers  and  their  neighbors;  they  herded  cattle  upon 
the  mesas;  they  raised  corn  and  melons  in  clearings 
in  the  forests,  and  watered  their  crops  in  the  dry  sea 
sons  by  means  of  simple  irrigation  systems  as  soundly 
scientific,  so  far  as  they  went,  as  those  of  to-day;  out 
growing  their  cliff  homes,  they  invaded  the  neighbor 
ing  mesas,  where  they  built  pueblos  and  more  am 
bitious  structures. 

Then,  apparently  suddenly,  for  they  left  behind 
them  many  of  their  household  goods,  and  left  unfinished 
an  elaborate  temple  to  their  god,  the  sun,  they  van 
ished.  There  is  no  clew  to  the  reason  or  the  manner 
of  their  going. 

Meantime  European  civilization  was  pushing  in 
all  directions.  Columbus  discovered  America;  De 
Soto  explored  the  southeast  and  ascended  the  Missis 
sippi;  Cortez  pushed  into  Mexico  and  conquered  the 
Aztecs;  Spanish  priests  carried  the  gospel  north  and 
west  from  the  Antilles  to  the  continent;  Raleigh  sent 
explorers  to  Virginia;  the  Pilgrim  Fathers  landed  in 
Massachusetts;  the  white  man  pushed  the  Indian 


aside,  and  at  last  the  European  pioneer  sought  a  pre 
carious  living  on  the  sands  of  the  southwest. 

One  December  day  in  1888  Richard  and  Alfred 
Wetherill  hunted  lost  cattle  on  the  top  of  one  of  the 
green  mesas  north  and  west  of  the  Mancos  River. 
They  knew  this  mesa  well.  Many  a  time  before  had 
they  rounded  up  their  herds  and  stalked  the  deer 
among  the  thin  cedar  and  pinyon  forests.  Often, 
doubtless,  in  their  explorations  of  the  broad  Mancos 
Valley  below,  they  had  happened  upon  ruins  of  primi 
tive  isolated  or  grouped  stone  buildings  hidden  by  sage 
brush,  half  buried  in  rock  and  sand.  No  doubt,  around 
their  ranch  fire,  they  had  often  speculated  concerning 
the  manner  of  men  that  had  inhabited  these  lowly 
structures  so  many  years  before  that  sometimes  aged 
cedars  grew  upon  the  broken  walls. 

But  this  December  day  brought  the  Wetherills  the 
surprise  of  their  uneventful  lives.  Some  of  the  cattle 
had  wandered  far,  and  the  search  led  to  the  very  brink 
of  a  deep  and  narrow  canyon,  across  which,  in  a  long 
deep  cleft  under  the  overhang  of  the  opposite  cliff, 
they  saw  what  appeared  to  be  a  city.  Those  who 
have  looked  upon  the  stirring  spectacle  of  Cliff  Palace 
from  this  point  can  imagine  the  astonishment  of  these 

Whether  or  not  the  lost  cattle  were  ever  found  is 
not  recorded,  but  we  may  assume  that  living  on  the 
mesa  was  not  plentiful  enough  to  make  the  Wetherills 
forget  them  in  the  pleasure  of  discovering  a  ruin.  But 
they  lost  no  time  in  investigating  their  find,  and  soon 


after  crossed  the  canyon  and  climbed  into  this  prehis 
toric  city.  They  named  it  Cliff  Palace,  most  inap 
propriately,  by  the  way,  for  it  was  in  fact  that  most 
democratic  of  structures,  a  community  dwelling. 
Pushing  their  explorations  farther,  presently  they  dis 
covered  also  a  smaller  ruin,  which  they  named  Spruce 
Tree  House,  because  a  prominent  spruce  grew  in  front 
of  it.  These  are  the  largest  two  cliff-dwellings  in  the 
Mesa  Verde  National  Park,  and,  until  Doctor  J.  Walter 
Fewkes  unearthed  Sun  Temple  in  1915,  among  the  most 
extraordinary  prehistoric  buildings  north  of  Mexico. 

There  are  thousands  of  prehistoric  ruins  in  our 
southwest,  and  many  besides  those  of  the  Mesa  Verde 
are  examples  of  an  aboriginal  civilization.  Hundreds 
of  canyons  tell  the  story  of  the  ancient  cliff-dwellers; 
and  still  more  numerous  are  the  remains  of  communal 
houses  built  of  stone  or  sun-dried  brick  under  the  open 
sky.  These  pueblos  in  the  open  are  either  isolated 
structures  like  the  lesser  cliff-dwellings,  or  are  crowded 
together  till  they  touch  walls,  as  in  our  modern  cities; 
often  they  were  several  stories  high,  the  floors  connected 
by  ladders.  Sometimes,  for  protection  against  the 
elements,  whole  villages  were  built  in  caves.  Pueblos 
occasionally  may  be  seen  from  the  car-window  in  New 
Mexico.  The  least  modified  of  the  prehistoric  type 
which  are  occupied  to-day  are  the  eight  villages  of  the 
Hopi  near  the  Grand  Canyon  in  Arizona;  a  suggestive 
reproduction  of  a  model  pueblo,  familiar  to  many  thou 
sands  who  have  visited  the  canyon,  stands  near  the 
El  Tovar  Hotel. 


It  was  not  therefore  because  of  the  rarity  of  pre 
historic  dwellings  of  either  type  that  the  cliff  villages 
of  the  Mesa  Verde  were  conserved  as  a  national  park, 
nor  only  because  they  are  the  best  preserved  of  all 
North  American  ruins,  but  because  they  disclose  a 
type  of  this  culture  in  advance  of  all  others. 

The  builders  and  inhabitants  of  these  dwellings 
were  Indians  having  physical  features  common  to  all 
American  tribes.  That  their  accomplishment  differed 
in  degree  from  that  of  the  shiftless  war-making  tribes 
north  and  east  of  them,  and  from  that  of  the  cultured 
and  artistic  Mayas  of  Central  America,  was  doubtless 
due  to  differences  in  conditions  of  living.  The  struggle 
for  bare  existence  in  the  southwest,  like  that  of  the 
habitats  of  other  North  American  Indians,  was  in 
tense;  but  these  were  agriculturalists  and  protected 
by  environment.  The  desert  was  a  handicap,  of  course, 
but  it  offered  opportunity  in  many  places  for  dry  farm 
ing;  the  Indian  raised  his  corn.  The  winters,  too, 
were  short.  It  is  only  in  the  southwest  that  enterprise 
developed  the  architecture  of  stone  houses  which  dis 
tinguish  pueblo  Indians  from  others  in  North  America. 

The  dwellers  in  the  Mesa  Verde  were  more  for 
tunate  even  than  their  fellow  pueblo  dwellers.  The 
forested  mesas,  so  different  from  the  arid  cliffs  farther 
south  and  west,  possessed  constant  moisture  and  fer 
tile  soil.  The  grasses  lured  the  deer  within  capture. 
The  Mancos  River  provided  fish.  Above  all,  the  re 
moteness  of  these  fastness  canyons  from  the  trails  of 
raiders  and  traders  and  their  ease  of  defense  made 


for  long  generations  of  peace.    The  enterprise  innate 
in  the  spirit  of  man  did  the  rest. 


The  history  of  the  Mesa  Verde  National  Park  be 
gan  with  the  making  of  America.  All  who  have  trav 
elled  in  the  southwest  have  seen  mesas  from  the  car- 
window.  New  Mexico,  Arizona,  and  parts  of  Colorado 
and  Utah,  the  region  of  the  pueblos,  constitute  an  ele 
vated  plateau  largely  arid.  Many  millions  of  years 
ago  all  was  submerged  in  the  intercontinental  sea;  in 
fact  the  region  was  sea  many  times,  for  it  rose  and  fell 
alternately,  accumulating  thousands  of  feet  of  sands 
and  gravels  much  of  which  hardened  into  stone  after 
the  slow  great  uplifting  which  made  it  the  lofty  plateau 
of  to-day.  Erosion  did  its  work.  For  a  million  years 
or  more  the  floods  of  spring  have  washed  down  the 
sands  and  gravels,  and  the  rivers  have  carried  them 
into  the  sea.  Thousands  of  vertical  feet  have  disap 
peared  in  this  way  from  the  potential  altitude  of  the 
region.  The  spring  floods  are  still  washing  down  the 
sands  and  gravels,  and  the  canyons,  cliffs,  and  mesas  of 
the  desert  are  disclosed  to-day  as  stages  in  the  eternal 

Thus  were  created  the  canyons  and  mesas  of  the 
Mesa  Verde.  Mesa,  by  the  way,  is  Spanish  for  table, 
and  verde  for  green.  These,  then,  are  the  green  table 
lands,  forest-covered  and  during  the  summer  grown 
scantily  with  grass  and  richly  with  flowers. 


The  Mesa  Verde  National  Park  was  created  by 
act  of  Congress  in  June,  1906,  and  enlarged  seven 
years  later.  The  Mancos  River,  on  its  way  to  the 
San  Juan  and  thence  to  the  Colorado  and  the  passage 
of  the  Grand  Canyon,  forms  its  southern  boundary. 
Scores  of  canyons,  large  and  small,  nearly  all  dry  ex 
cept  at  the  spring  floods,  are  tributary.  All  of  these 
trend  south;  in  a  general  way  they  are  parallel.  Each 
of  the  greater  stems  has  its  lesser  tributaries  and  each 
of  these  its  lesser  forks.  Between  the  canyons  lie  the 
mesas.  Their  tops,  if  continued  without  break,  would 
form  a  more  or  less  level  surface;  that  is,  all  had  been 
a  plain  before  floods  cut  the  separating  canyons. 

The  region  has  a  wonderful  scenic  charm.  It  is 
markedly  different  in  quality  from  other  national  parks, 
but  in  its  own  way  is  quite  as  startling  and  beautiful. 
Comparison  is  impossible  because  of  the  lack  of  ele 
ments  in  common,  but  it  may  be  said  that  the  Mesa 
Verde  represents  our  great  southwest  in  one  of  its 
most  fascinating  phases,  combining  the  fundamentals 
of  the  desert  with  the  flavor  of  the  near-by  moun 
tains.  The  canyons,  which  are  seven  or  eight  hundred 
feet  deep  and  two  or  three  times  as  wide  where  the 
cliff-dwellings  gather,  are  prevailingly  tawny  yellow. 
Masses  of  sloping  talus  reach  more  than  half-way  up; 
above  them  the  cliffs  are  perpendicular;  it  is  in  cavi 
ties  in  these  perpendiculars  that  the  cliff- dwellings 
hide.  Above  the  cliffs  are  low  growths  of  yellowish- 
green  cedar  with  pinyons  and  other  conifers  of  darker 
foliage.  Beneath  the  trees  and  covering  the  many 


opens  grows  the  familiar  sage  of  the  desert,  a  gray 
which  hints  at  green  and  yellow  both  but  realizes 
neither.  But  the  sage-brush  shelters  desert  grasses, 
and,  around  the  occasional  springs  and  their  slender 
outlets,  grass  grows  rank  and  plenteous;  a  little  water 
counts  for  a  great  deal  in  the  desert. 

Summer,  then,  is  delightful  on  the  Mesa  Verde. 
The  plateau  is  high  and  the  air  invigorating,  warm  by 
day  in  midsummer,  always  cool  at  night.  The  atmos 
phere  is  marvellously  clear,  and" the  sunsets  are  famous. 
The  winter  snows,  which  reach  three  or  four  feet  in 
depth,  disappear  in  April.  From  May  to  Thanksgiving 
the  region  is  in  its  prime.  It  is  important  to  realize 
that  this  land  has  much  for  the  visitor  besides  its  ruins. 
It  has  vigor,  distinction,  personality,  and  remarkable 
charm.  It  is  the  highest  example  of  one  of  America's 
most  distinctive  and  important  scenic  phases,  and  this 
without  reference  to  its  prehistoric  dwellings.  No 
American  traveller  knows  his  America,  even  the  great 
southwest,  who  does  not  know  the  border-land  where 
desert  and  forest  mingle. 

The  Southern  Ute  Indian  Reservation  bites  a  large 
rectangle  from  the  southeast  corner  of  the  park,  but 
its  inhabitants  are  very  different  in  quality  of  mind  and 
spirit  from  the  ancient  and  reverent  builders  of  Sun 
Temple.  Reservation  Indians  frequently  enter  the 
park,  but  they  cannot  be  persuaded  to  approach  the 
cliff-dwellings.  The  "  little  people,"  they  tell  you,  live 
there,  and  neither  teaching  nor  example  will  convince 
them  that  these  invisible  inhabitants  will  not  injure 


intruders.  Some  of  these  Indians  allege  that  it  was 
their  own  ancestors  who  built  the  cliff-dwellings,  but 
there  is  neither  record  nor  tradition  to  support  such 
a  claim.  The  fact  appears  to  be  that  the  Utes  were  the 
ancient  enemies  of  this  people.  There  is  a  Ute  tradi 
tion  of  a  victory  over  the  ancient  pueblo-dwellers  at 
Battle  Rock  in  McElmo  Canyon. 

There  are,  on  the  other  hand,  many  reasons  for 
the  opinion  that  the  Hopi  Indians  of  the  present  day, 
so  far  at  least  as  culture  goes,  are  descendants  of  this 
remarkable  prehistoric  people.  Besides  the  many  simi 
larities  between  the  architectural  types  of  the  Mesa 
Verde  and  the  pueblos  of  the  modern  Hopi,  careful 
investigators  have  found  suggestive  points  of  similarity 
in  their  utensils,  their  art  forms,  and  their  customs. 
Doctor  Fewkes  cites  a  rfopi  tradition  to  that  effect  by 
mentioning  the  visit  of  a  Hopi  courier  a  few  years  ago 
to  prehistoric  ruins  in  the  Navajo  National  Monu 
ment  to  obtain  water  from  an  ancestral  spring  for  use 
in  a  Hopi  religious  ceremonial.  If  these  traditions  are 
founded  in  fact,  the  promising  civilization  of  the  Mesa 
Verde  has  sadly  retrograded  in  its  transplanting.  Hopi 
architecture  and  masonry  shows  marked  retrogression 
from  the  splendid  types  of  the  Mesa  Verde. 

When  the  telephone-line  was  under  construction 
to  connect  the  park  with  the  outside  world,  the  In 
dians  from  the  adjoining  Ute  reservation  became  sus 
picious  and  restless.  Upon  hearing  its  purpose,  they 
begged  the  superintendent  not  to  go  on  with  the  work, 
which  was  certain  to  bring  evil  to  the  neighborhood. 


"The  little  people,"  they  solemnly  declared,  "will 
not  like  it." 

They  assured  the  superintendent  that  the  wires 
would  not  talk. 

"The  little  people  will  not  let  them  talk,"  they 
told  him. 

But  the  line  was  completed  and  the  wires  talked. 

The  park  is  reached  by  motor  and  rail.  From 
Denver,  Salt  Lake  City,  and  Santa  Fe  railroad  routes 
offer  choice  of  some  of  the  biggest  country  of  the 
Rockies.  From  either  direction  a  night  is  spent  en 
route  in  a  mountain  mining- town,  an  experience  which 
has  its  usefulness  in  preparation  for  the  contrasted  and 
unusual  experience  to  come.  Entrance  is  through 
Mancos,  from  which  motor-stages  thread  the  maze  of 
canyons  and  mesas  from  the  highlands  of  the  northern 
border  to  the  deep  canyons  of  the  south  where  cluster 
the  ruins  of  distinction. 

This  entry  is  delightful.  The  road  crosses  the 
northern  boundary  at  the  base  of  a  lofty  butte  known 
as  Point  Lookout,  the  park's  highest  elevation.  En 
circling  its  eastern  side  and  crossing  the  Morefield 
Canyon  the  road  perches  for  several  miles  upon  the 
sinuous  crest  of  a  ridge  more  than  eight  thousand  feet 
in  altitude,  whose  north  side  plunges  eighteen  hundred 
feet  into  the  broad  Montezuma  Valley,  and  whose 
gentle  southern  slope  holds  the  small  beginnings^of  the 
great  canyons  of  the  cliff-dwellers.  Both  north  and 
south  the  panorama  unfolds  in  impressive  grandeur, 
eloquent  of  the  beautiful  scanty  land  and  of  the  diffi- 


cult  conditions  of  living  which  confronted  the  sturdy 
builders  whose  ancient  masterpieces  we  are  on  our 
way  to  see.  At  the  northern  end  of  Chapin  Mesa  we 
swing  sharply  south  and  follow  its  slope,  presently 
entering  the  warm,  glowing,  scented  forests,  through 
which  we  speed  to  the  hotel- camp  perched  upon  a  bluff 
overlooking  the  depths  of  Spruce  Canyon. 

Upon  the  top  and  under  the  eaves  of  this  mesa 
are  found  very  fine  types  of  prehistoric  civilization. 
At  Mummy  Lake,  half-way  down  the  mesa,  we  passed 
on  the  way  a  good  example  of  pueblo  architecture,  and 
within  an  easy  walk  of  our  terminal  camp  we  find  some 
of  the  noblest  examples  of  cliff- dwellings  in  existence. 
Here  it  was,  near  the  head  of  this  remote,  nearly  inac 
cessible,  canyon,  guarded  by  nature's  ramparts,  that 
aboriginal  American  genius  before  the  coming  of  the 
Anglo-Saxon  found  its  culminating  expression. 

In  this  spirit  the  thoughtful  American  of  to-day 
enters  the  Mesa  Verde  National  Park  and  examines 
its  precious  memorials. 


Although  the  accident  of  the  road  brings  the  trav 
eller  first  to  the  mesa-top  pueblos  of  the  Mummy  Lake 
district,  historical  sequence  suggests  that  examination 
begin  with  the  cliff-dwellings. 

Of  the  many  examples  of  these  remains  in  the 
park,  Cliff  Palace,  Spruce  Tree  House,  and  Balcony 
House  are  the  most  important  because  they  concisely 
and  completely  cover  the  range  of  life  and  the  fulness 


of  development.  This  is  not  the  place  for  detailed 
descriptions  of  these  ruins.  The  special  publications 
of  the  National  Park  Service  and  particularly  the  writ 
ings  of  Doctor  J.  Walter  Fewkes  of  the  Smithsonian 
Institution,  who  has  devoted  many  years  of  brilliant 
investigation  to  American  prehistoric  remains,  are 
obtainable  from  government  sources.  Here  we  shall 
briefly  consider  several  types. 

It  is  impossible,  without  reference  to  photographs, 
to  convey  a  concise  adequate  idea  of  Cliff  Palace. 
Seen  from  across  its  canyon  the  splendid  crescent- 
shaped  ruin  offers  to  the  unaccustomed  eye  little  that 
is  common  to  modern  architecture.  Prominently  in 
the  foreground,  large  circular  wells  at  once  challenge 
interest.  These  were  the  kivas,  or  ceremonial  rooms  of 
the  community,  centres  of  the  religious  activities  which 
counted  so  importantly  in  pueblo  life.  Here  it  was 
that  men  gathered  monthly  to  worship  their  gods.  In 
the  floors  of  some  kivas  are  small  holes  representing 
symbolically  the  entrance  to  the  underworld,  and 
around  these  from  time  to  time  priests  doubtless  per 
formed  archaic  ceremonies  and  communicated  with 
the  dead.  Each  family  or  clan  in  the  community  is 
supposed  to  have  had  its  own  kiva. 

The  kiva  walls  of  Cliff  Palace  show  some  of  the 
finest  prehistoric  masonry  in  America.  All  are  sub 
terranean,  which  in  a  few  instances  necessitated  ex 
cavation  in  floors  of  solid  rock.  The  roofs  were  sup 
ported  by  pedestals  rising  from  mural  banquettes, 
usually  six  pedestals  to  a  kiva;  the  kiva  supposed  to 


have  belonged  to  the  chiefs  clan  had  eight  pedestals, 
and  one,  perhaps  belonging  to  a  clan  of  lesser  promi 
nence,  had  only  two.  Several  kivas  which  lack  roof- 
supports  may  have  been  of  different  type  or  used  for 
lesser  ceremonials.  All  except  these  have  fireplaces  and 
ventilators.  Entrance  was  by  ladder  from  the  roof. 

Other  rooms  identified  are  living-rooms,  storage- 
rooms,  milling-rooms,  and  round  and  square  towers, 
besides  which  there  are  dark  rooms  of  unknown  use 
and  several  round  rooms  which  are  neither  kivas  nor 
towers.  Several  of  the  living-rooms  have  raised 
benches  evidently  used  for  beds,  and  in  one  of  them 
pegs  for  holding  clothing  still  remain  in  the  walls. 
The  rooms  are  smoothly  plastered  or  painted. 

Mills  for  grinding  corn  were  found  in  one  room  in 
rows;  in  others,  singly.  The  work  was  done  by 
women,  who  rubbed  the  upper  stone  against  the  lower 
by  hand.  The  rests  for  their  feet  while  at  work  still 
remain  in  place;  also  the  brushes  for  sweeping  up  the 
meal.  The  small  storage- rooms  had  stone  doors,  care 
fully  sealed  with  clay  to  keep  out  mice  and  prevent 
moisture  from  spoiling  the  corn  and  meal. 

One  of  the  most  striking  buildings  in  Cliff  Palace  is 
the  Round  Tower,  two  stories  high,  which  not  only 
was  an  observatory,  as  is  indicated  by  its  peep-holes, 
but  also  served  purposes  in  religious  festivals.  Its 
masonry  belongs  to  the  finest  north  of  Mexico.  The 
stones  are  beautifully  fitted  and  dressed.  The  Square 
Tower  which  stands  at  the  southern  end  of  the  village 
is  four  stories  high,  reaching  the  roof  of  the  cave.  The 


inner  walls  of  its  third  story  are  elaborately  painted 
with  red  and  white  symbols,  triangles,  zigzags,  and 
parallels,  the  significance  of  which  is  not  known. 

The  ledge  under  which  Cliff  Palace  is  built  forms 
a  roof  that  overhangs  the  structure.  An  entrance, 
probably  the  principal  one,  came  from  below  to  a  court 
at  a  lower  level  than  the  floor,  from  which  access  was 
by  ladder. 

Spruce  Tree  House,  which  may  have  been  built 
after  Cliff  Palace,  has  a  circular  room  with  windows 
which  were  originally  supposed  to  have  been  port 
holes  for  defense.  Doctor  Fewkes,  however,  suggests 
a  more  probable  purpose,  as  the  position  of  the  room 
does  not  specially  suggest  a  fortress.  Through  the 
openings  in  this  room  the  sun-priest  may  have  watched 
the  setting  sun  to  determine  the  time  for  ceremonies. 
The  room  was  entered  from  above,  like  a  kiva.  An 
other  room,  differing  from  any  in  other  cliff-dwellings, 
has  been  named  the  Warriors*  Room  because,  unlike 
sleeping-rooms,  its  bench  surrounds  three  sides,  and 
because,  unlike  any  other  room,  it  is  built  above  a 
kiva.  Only  the  exigencies  of  defense,  it  is  supposed, 
would  warrant  so  marked  a  departure  from  the  pre 
scribed  religious  form  of  room. 

Balcony  House  has  special  interest,  apart  from  its 
commanding  location,  perfection  of  workmanship  and 
unusual  beauty,  and  because  of  the  ingenuity  of  the 
defenses  of  its  only  possible  entrance.  At  the  top  of  a 
steep  trail  a  cave-like  passage  between  rocks  is  walled 
so  as  to  leave  a  door  capable  of  admitting  only  one  at 


a  time,  behind  which  two  or  three  men  could  strike 
down,  one  by  one,  an  attacking  army. 

Out  of  these  simple  architectural  elements,  to 
gether  with  the  utensils  and  weapons  found  in  the  ruins, 
the  imagination  readily  constructs  a  picture  of  the  aus 
tere,  laborious,  highly  religious,  and  doubtless  happy 
lives  led  by  the  earnest  people  who  built  these  ancient 
dwellings  in  the  caves. 

When  all  the  neighborhood  caves  were  filled  to 
overflowing  with  increasing  population,  and  generations 
of  peace  had  wrought  a  confidence  which  had  not  ex 
isted  when  the  pioneers  had  sought  safety  in  caves, 
these  people  ventured  to  move  out  of  cliffs  and  to  build 
upon  the  tops  of  the  mesa.  Whether  all  the  cave- 
dwellers  were  descended  from  the  original  pilgrims  or 
whether  others  had  joined  them  afterward  is  not 
known,  but  it  seems  evident  that  the  separate  commu 
nities  had  found  some  common  bond,  probably  tribal, 
and  perhaps  evolved  some  common  government.  No 
doubt  they  intermarried.  No  doubt  the  blood  of  many 
cliff-dwelling  communities  mingled  in  the  new  commu 
nities  which  built  pueblos  upon  the  mesa.  In  time 
there  were  many  of  these  pueblos,  and  they  were  widely 
scattered;  there  are  mounds  at  intervals  all  over  the 
Mesa  Verde.  The  largest  group  of  pueblos,  one  infers 
from  the  number  of  visible  mounds,  was  built  upon  the 
Chapin  Mesa  several  miles  north  of  the  above-men 
tioned  cliff-dwelling  near  a  reservoir  known  to-day  as 
Mummy  Lake.  It  is  there,  then,  that  we  shall  now 
go  in  continuation  of  our  story. 

Coloring  and  design  as  well  as  form  show  high  artistic  sense  and  clean  workmanship 


Mummy  Lake  is  not  a  lake  and  no  mummies 
were  ever  found  there.  This  old-time  designation 
applies  to  an  artificial  depression  surrounded  by  a 
low  rude  stone  wall,  much  crumbled,  which  was  evi 
dently  a  storage  reservoir  for  an  irrigation  system  of 
some  size.  A  number  of  conspicuous  mounds  in  the 
neighborhood  suggest  the  former  existence  of  a  village 
of  pueblos  dependent  upon  the  farms  for  which  the 
irrigation  system  had  been  built.  One  of  these,  from 
which  a  few  stones  protruded,  was  excavated  in  1916 
by  Doctor  Fewkes,  and  has  added  a  new  and  important 
chapter  to  the  history  of  this  people.  This  pueblo  has 
been  named  Far  View  House.  Its  extensive  vista  in 
cludes  four  other  groups  of  similar  mounds.  Each 
cluster  occurs  in  the  fertile  sage-brush  clearings  which 
bloom  in  summer  with  asters  and  Indian  paint-brush; 
there  is  no  doubt  that  good  crops  of  Indian  corn  could 
still  be  raised  from  these  sands  to-day  by  dry-farming 

Far  View  House  is  a  pueblo,  a  hundred  and  thir 
teen  feet  long  by  more  than  fifty  feet  wide,  not  includ 
ing  a  full-length  plaza  about  thirty-five  feet  wide  in 
which  religious  dances  are  supposed  to  have  taken 
place.  The  differences  between  this  fine  structure  and 
the  cliff-cities  are  considerable.  The  most  significant 
evidence  of  progress,  perhaps,  is  the  modern  regularity 
of  the  ground-plan.  The  partitions  separating  the 
secular  rooms  are  continuous  through  the  building,  and 
the  angles  are  generally  accurately  right  angles. 

The  pueblo  had  three  stories.    It  is  oriented  ap- 


proximately  to  the  cardinal  points  and  was  terraced 
southward  to  secure  a  sunny  exposure.  The  study  of 
the  solar  movements  became  an  advanced  science  with 
these  people  in  the  latter  stages  of  their  development. 
It  must  be  remembered  that  they  had  no  compasses; 
knowing  nothing  of  the  north  or  any  other  fixed  point, 
nevertheless  there  is  evidence  that  they  successfully 
worked  out  the  solstices  and  planned  their  later  build 
ings  accurately  according  to  cardinal  points  of  their 
own  calculation. 

Another  difference  indicating  development  is  the 
decrease  in  the  number  of  kivas,  and  the  construction 
of  a  single  very  large  kiva  in  the  middle  of  the  build 
ing.  Its  size  suggests  at  once  that  the  individual  clan 
organization  of  cliff -dwelling  days  had  here  given  place 
to  a  single  priestly  fraternity,  sociologically  a  marked 
advance.  Drawing  parallels  with  the  better-known 
customs  of  other  primitive  people,  we  are  at  liberty, 
if  we  please,  to  infer  similar  progress  in  other  direc 
tions.  The  original  primitive  communism  was  devel 
oping  naturally,  though  doubtless  very  slowly,  into 
something  akin  to  organized  society,  probably  involv 
ing  more  complicated  economic  relationships  in  all 
departments  of  living. 

While  their  masonry  did  not  apparently  improve 
in  proportion,  Far  View  House  shows  increase  in  the 
number  and  variety  of  the  decorative  figures  incised 
on  hewn  stones.  The  spiral,  representing  the  coiled 
serpent,  appears  a  number  of  times,  as  do  many  com 
binations  of  squares,  curves,  and  angles  arranged  in 


fanciful  design,  which  may  or  may  not  have  had  sym 
bolic  meanings. 

A  careful  examination  of  the  neighborhood  dis 
closes  few  details  of  the  irrigation  system,  but  it  shows 
a  cemetery  near  the  southeast  corner  of  the  building  in 
which  the  dead  were  systematically  buried. 

Large  numbers  of  minor  antiquities  were  found  in 
this  interesting  structure.  Besides  the  usual  stone 
implements  of  the  mason  and  the  housekeeper,  many 
instruments  of  bone,  such  as  needles,  dirks,  and  bod 
kins,  were  found.  Figurines  of  several  kinds  were  un 
earthed,  carved  from  soft  stone,  including  several  in 
tended  to  symbolize  Indian  corn;  all  these  may  have 
been  idols.  Fragments  of  pottery  were  abundant,  in 
full  variety  of  form,  decoration,  and  color,  but  always 
the  most  ancient  types.  Among  the  bones  of  animals, 
the  frequency  of  those  of  rabbits,  deer,  antelope,  elk, 
and  mountain-sheep  indicate  that  meat  formed  no  in 
considerable  part  of  the  diet.  Fabrics  and  embroi 
deries  were  not  discovered,  as  in  the  cliff -dwellings,  but 
they  may  have  disappeared  in  the  centuries  through 
exposure  to  the  elements.  -  . 

Far  View  House  may  not  show  the  highest  devel 
opment  of  the  Mummy  Lake  cluster  of  pueblos,  and 
further  exhumations  here  and  in  neighboring  groups 
may  throw  further  light  upon  this  interesting  people 
in  their  gropings  from  darkness  to  light.  Meantime, 
however,  returning  to  the  neighborhood  of  the  cliff- 
dwellings,  let  us  examine  a  structure  so  late  in  the 
history  of  these  people  that  they  left  it  unfinished. 


Sun  Temple  stands  on  a  point  of  Chapin  Mesa, 
somewhat  back  from  the  edge  of  Cliff  Canyon,  com 
manding  an  extraordinary  range  of  country.  It  is 
within  full  view  of  Cliff  Palace  and  other  cliff -dwellings 
of  importance  and  easy  of  access.  From  it,  one  can 
look  southward  to  the  Mancos  River.  On  every  side 
a  wide  range  of  mesa  and  canyon  lies  in  full  view.  The 
site  is  unrivalled  for  a  temple  in  which  all  could 
worship  with  devotion. 

When  Doctor  Fewkes,  in  the  early  summer  of  1915, 
attacked  the  mound  which  had  been  designated  Com 
munity  House  under  the  supposition  that  it  covered 
a  ruined  pueblo,  he  had  no  idea  of  the  extraordinary 
nature  of  the  find  awaiting  him,  although  he  was  pre 
pared  from  its  shape  and  other  indications  for  some 
thing  out  of  the  usual.  So  wholly  without  parallel  was 
the  disclosure,  however,  that  it  was  not  till  it  was  en 
tirely  uncovered  that  he  ventured  a  public  conjecture 
as  to  its  significance.  The  ground-plan  of  Sun  Temple 
is  shaped  like  the  letter  D.  It  encloses  another  D- 
shaped  structure  occupying  nearly  two-thirds  of  its 
total  area,  within  which  are  two  large  kivas.  Between 
the  outer  and  the  inner  D  are  passages  and  rooms,  and 
at  one  end  a  third  kiva  is  surrounded  by  rooms,  one  of 
which  is  circular. 

Sun  Temple  is  also  impressive  in  size.  It  is  a 
hundred  and  twenty-one  feet  long  and  sixty-four  feet 
wide.  Its  walls  average  four  feet  in  thickness,  and  are 
double-faced,  enclosing  a  central  core  of  rubble;  they 
are  built  of  the  neighborhood  sandstone.  The  masonry 

From  a  photograph  by  George  L.  Beam 

Built,  by  prehistoric  people  to  their  god,  the  sun,  and  unfinished  when  they  suddenly  disappeared 

From  a  photograph  by  George  L.  Beam 

Showing  the  overhanging  rock  roof  and  the  forest  which  tops  the  Mesa  Verde 


is  of  fine  quality.  This,  together  with  its  symmetrical 
architectural  design,  its  fine  proportions,  and  its  many 
decorated  stones,  mark  it  the  highest  type  of  Mesa 
Verde  architecture. 

It  was  plainly  unfinished.  Walls  had  risen  in 
some  places  higher  than  in  others.  As  yet  there  was 
no  roofing.  No  rooms  had  been  plastered.  Of  in 
ternal  finishing  little  was  completed,  and  of  contents, 
of  course,  there  was  none.  The  stone  hammers  and 
other  utensils  of  the  builders  were  found  lying  about 
as  if  thrown  down  at  day's  close. 

The  kivas,  although  circular,  are  unlike  those  of 
Cliff  Palace,  inasmuch  as  they  are  above  ground,  not 
subterranean.  The  mortar  used  in  pointing  shows  the 
impress  of  human  hands;  no  trowels  were  used.  The 
walls  exhibit  many  stones  incised  with  complicated 
designs,  largely  geometric;  some  may  be  mason's 
marks;  others  are  decorative  or  symbolic.  These  de 
signs  indicate  a  marked  advance  over  those  in  Far 
View  House;  in  fact  they  are  far  more  complicated 
and  artistic  than  any  in  the  southwest. 

Bare  and  ineloquent  though  its  unfinished  condi 
tion  left  it,  the  religious  purposes  of  the  entire  build 
ing  are  clear  to  the  archaeologist  in  its  form.  And,  as 
if  to  make  conjecture  certainty,  a  shrine  was  uncovered 
on  the  corner-stone  of  the  outer  wall  which  frames  in 
solid  stone  walls  a  large  fossil  palm-leaf  whose  rays 
strongly  suggest  the  sun ! 

It  requires  no  imagination  to  picture  the  effect 
which  the  original  discovery  of  this  image  of  their  god 


must  have  had  upon  a  primitive  community  of  sun- 
worshippers.  It  must  have  seemed  to  them  a  divine 
gift,  a  promise,  like  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  of  the 
favor  of  the  Almighty.  It  may  even  have  first  sug 
gested  the  idea  of  building  this  temple  to  their  deity. 

This  is  all  the  story.  Go  there  and  study  it  in 
detail.  Enlightened,  profoundly  impressed,  neverthe 
less  you  will  finish  at  this  point.  The  tale  has  no 
climax.  It  just  stops. 

What  happened  to  the  people  of  the  Mesa  Verde? 

Some  archaeologists  believe  that  they  emigrated 
to  neighboring  valleys  southwest.  But  why  should 
they  have  left  their  prosperous  farms  and  fine  homes 
for  regions  which  seem  to  us  less  desirable?  And  why, 
a  profoundly  religious  people,  should  they  have  left 
Sun  Temple  unfinished? 

What  other  supposition  remains? 

Only,  I  think,  that,  perhaps  because  of  their  pros 
perity  and  the  unpreparedness  that  accompanies  long 
periods  of  peace,  they  were  suddenly  overwhelmed  by 




FROM  a  hillside  on  the  edge  of  the  Ozark  Moun 
tains  in  central  Arkansas  issue  springs  of  hot 
water  which  are  effective  in  the  alleviation  of  rheu 
matic  and  kindred  ills.  Although  chemical  analysis 
fails  to  explain  the  reason,  the  practice  of  many  years 
has  abundantly  proved  their  worth.  Before  the  com 
ing  of  the  white  man  they  were  known  to  the  Indians, 
who  are  said  to  have  proclaimed  them  neutral  terri 
tory  in  time  of  war.  Perhaps  it  was  rumor  of  their 
fame  upon  which  Ponce  de  Leon  founded  his  dream  of 
a  Fountain  of  Youth. 

In  the  early  years  of  the  last  century  hundreds  of 
settlers  toiled  many  miles  over  forest  trails  to  camp 
beside  them  and  bathe  daily  in  their  waters.  The 
bent  and  suffering  were  carried  there  on  stretchers. 
So  many  and  so  striking  were  the  cures  that  the  fame 
of  these  springs  spread  throughout  the  young  nation, 
and  in  1832,  to  prevent  their  falling  into  hands  out 
stretched  to  seize  and  exploit  them  for  private  gain, 
Congress  created  them  a  national  reservation.  The 

Hot  Springs  Reservation  was  our  first  national  park. 



Previous  to  this  a  couple  of  log  houses  built  by 
visitors  served  for  shelter  for  the  pilgrims  at  the  shrine 
of  health.  Soon  after,  other  buildings  quite  as  primi 
tive  were  erected.  A  road  was  constructed  through 
the  forests  from  the  settled  portions  of  the  State,  and 
many  drove  laboriously  in  with  tents  and  camping 
outfits.  I  have  seen  a  copy  of  a  photograph  which 
was  taken  when  photographs  were  new,  showing  several 
men  and  women  in  the  odd  conventional  costume  of 
that  period  sitting  solemnly  upon  the  banks  of  a 
steaming  spring,  their  clothes  drawn  up,  their  bare 
legs  calf  deep  in  the  hot  water. 

Once  started,  Hot  Springs  grew  rapidly.  Unfor 
tunately,  this  first  act  of  national  conservation  failed 
to  foresee  the  great  future  of  these  springs,  and  the 
reservation  line  was  drawn  so  that  it  barely  enclosed 
the  brook  of  steaming  vapors  which  was  their  outlet. 
To-day,  when  the  nation  contemplates  spending  mil 
lions  to  beautify  the  national  spa,  it  finds  the  city 
built  solidly  opposite. 

Railroads  soon  pushed  their  way  through  the 
Ozark  foot-hills  and  landed  thousands  yearly  beside 
the  healing  waters.  Hotels  became  larger  and  more 
numerous.  The  government  built  a  public  bath 
house  into  which  the  waters  were  piped  for  the  free 
treatment  of  the  people.  Concessioners  built  more 
elaborate  structures  within  the  reservation  to  accom 
modate  those  who  preferred  to  pay  for  pleasanter 
surroundings  or  for  private  treatment.  The  village 
became  a  town  and  the  town  a  city.  Boarding- 


houses  sprang  up  everywhere  with  accommodations  to 
suit  the  needs  of  purses  of  all  lengths.  Finally,  large 
and  costly  hotels  were  built  for  the  prosperous  and 
fashionable  who  began  to  find  rare  enjoyment  in  the 
beautiful  Ozark  country  while  they  drank  their  hot 
water  and  took  their  invigorating  baths.  Hot  Springs 
became  a  national  resort. 

It  will  be  seen  that,  in  its  way,  Hot  Springs  has 
reflected  the  social  development  of  the  country.  It  has 
passed  through  the  various  stages  that  marked  the 
national  growth  in  taste  and  morals.  During  the 
period  when  gambling  was  a  national  vice  it  was  noted 
for  its  high  play,  and  then  gamblers  of  all  social  grades 
looked  forward  to  their  season  in  the  South.  During 
the  period  of  national  dissipation,  when  polite  drunk 
enness  was  a  badge  of  class  and  New  Year's  day  an 
orgy,  it  became  the  periodic  resort  of  inebriates,  just 
as  later,  with  the  elevation  of  the  national  moral  sense, 
it  became  instead  the  most  conservative  of  resorts, 
the  periodic  refuge  of  thousands  of  work-worn  business 
and  professional  men  seeking  the  astonishing  recupera 
tive  power  of  its  water. 

True  again  to  the  spirit  of  the  times,  Hot  Springs 
reflects  to  the  full  the  spirit  of  to-day.  It  is  a  Southern 
mountain  resort  of  quiet  charm  and  wonderful  natural 
beauty  set  on  the  edge  of  a  broad  region  of  hills,  ra 
vines,  and  sweet-smelling  pines,  a  paradise  for  the 
walker,  the  hiker,  and  the  horseback  rider.  Down  on 
the  street  a  long  row  of  handsome  modern  bath-houses, 
equipped  with  all  the  scientific  luxuries,  and  more  be- 


sides,  of  the  most  elaborate  European  spa,  concen 
trates  the  business  of  bath  and  cure.  Back  of  this  rise 
directly  the  beautiful  Ozark  hills.  One  may  have 
exactly  what  he  wishes  at  Hot  Springs.  He  may  live 
with  the  sick  if  that  is  his  bent,  or  he  may  spend  weeks 
of  rich  enjoyment  of  the  South  in  holiday  mood,  and 
have  his  baths  besides,  without  a  suggestion  of  the 
sanitarium  or  even  of  the  spa. 

Meantime  the  mystery  of  the  water's  potency 
seems  to  have  been  solved.  It  is  not  chemical  in 
solution  which  clears  the  system  of  its  ills  and  restores 
the  jaded  tissues  to  buoyancy,  but  the  newly  discov 
ered  principle  of  radioactivity.  Somewhere  deep  in 
Nature's  laboratory  these  waters  become  charged  with 
an  uplifting  power  which  is  imparted  to  those  who 
bathe  according  to  the  rules  which  many  years  of  ex 
perience  have  prescribed.  Many  physicians  refuse  to 
verify  the  waters'  virtues;  some  openly  scoff.  But 
the  fact  stands  that  every  year  hundreds  who  come 
helpless  cripples  walk  jauntily  to  the  station  on  their 
departure,  and  many  thousands  of  sufferers  from  rheu 
matic  ills  and  the  wear  and  tear  of  strenuous  living 
return  to  their  homes  restored.  I  myself  can  testify 
to  the  surprising  recuperative  effect  of  only  half  a 
dozen  daily  baths,  and  I  know  business  men  who 
habitually  go  there  whenever  the  stress  of  overwork 
demands  measures  of  quick  relief. 

It  is  not  surprising  that  more  than  a  hundred 
thousand  persons  visit  Hot  Springs  every  year.  The 
recognized  season  begins  after  the  winter  holidays; 




then  it  is  that  gayety  and  pleasuring,  riding,  driving, 
motoring,  golfing,  and  the  social  life  of  the  fashionable 
hotels  reach  their  height.  But,  for  sheer  enjoyment  of 
the  quieter  kind,  the  spring,  early  summer,  and  the 
autumn  are  unsurpassed;  south  though  it  lies,  Hot 
Springs  is  delightful  even  in  midsummer. 

Two  railroads  land  the  visitor  almost  at  the  en 
trance  of  the  reservation.  A  fine  road  brings  the 
motorist  sixty  miles  from  the  lively  city  of  Little  Rock. 
The  elaborate  bath-houses  line  the  reservation  side  of 
the  principal  street,  opposite  the  brick  city.  But  back 
of  them  rises  abruptly  the  beautiful  forested  mountain 
from  whose  side  gush  the  healing  waters,  and  back  of 
this  roll  the  beautiful  pine-grown  Ozarks.  The  divi 
sion  is  sharply  drawn.  He  who  chooses  may  forget 
the  city  except  at  the  hour  of  his  daily  bath. 

The  plans  for  realizing  in  stone  and  landscape 
gardening  the  ideal  of  the  great  American  spa,  which 
this  spot  is  in  fact,  contemplate  the  work  of  years. 

11      . 

In  southern  Oklahoma  not  far  from  the  Texas 
boundary,  a  group  of  thirty  healing  springs,  these  of 
cold  sparkling  water,  were  set  apart  by  Congress  in 
1904  under  the  title  of  the  Platt  National  Park.  Most 
of  them  are  sulphur  springs;  others  are  impregnated 
with  bromides  and  other  mineral  salts.  Many  thou 
sands  visit  yearly  the  prosperous  bordering  city  of 
Sulphur  to  drink  these  waters;  many  camp  in  or  near 


the  reservation;  the  bottled  waters  bring  relief  to 
thousands  at  home. 

Through  the  national  park,  from  its  source  in  the 
east  to  its  entry  into  Rock  Creek,  winds  Travertine 
Creek,  the  outlet  of  most  of  these  springs.  Rock  Creek 
outlines  the  park's  western  boundary,  and  on  its  farther 
bank  lies  the  city.  Springs  of  importance  within  the 
park  pour  their  waters  directly  into  its  current.  All 
these  Platt  springs,  like  those  of  Hot  Springs,  Arkansas, 
were  known  to  the  Indians  for  their  curative  properties 
for  many  generations  before  the  coming  of  the  white 

The  park  is  the  centre  of  a  region  of  novelty  and 
charm  for  the  visitor  from  the  North  and  East.  The 
intimate  communion  of  prairie  and  rich  forested  valley, 
the  sophistication  of  the  bustling  little  city  in  contrast 
with  the  rough  life  of  the  outlying  ranches,  the  mingling 
in  common  intercourse  of  such  differing  human  ele 
ments  as  the  Eastern  tourist,  the  free  and  easy  Western 
townsman,  the  cowboy  and  the  Indian,  give  rare  spice 
to  a  visit  long  enough  to  impart  the  spirit  of  a  country 
of  so  many  kinds  of  appeal.  The  climate,  too,  contrib 
utes  to  enjoyment.  The  long  spring  lasts  from  Feb 
ruary  to  June.  During  the  short  summer,  social  life 
is  at  its  height.  The  fall  lingers  to  the  holidays  before 
it  gives  way  to  a  short  winter,  which  the  Arbuckle 
Mountains  soften  by  diverting  the  colder  winds. 

The  pleasures  are  those  of  prairie  and  valley.  It 
is  a  great  land  for  riding.  There  is  swimming,  rowing, 
and  excellent  black-bass  fishing  in  the  larger  lakes. 


It  is  a  region  of  deer  and  many  birds.  Its  altitude  is 
about  a  thousand  feet. 

The  rolling  Oklahoma  plateau  attains  in  this 
neighborhood  its  pleasantest  outline  and  variety. 
Broad  plains  of  grazing-land  alternate  with  bare  rocky 
heights  and  low  mountains.  The  creeks  and  rivers 
which  accumulate  the  waters  of  the  springs  scattered 
widely  among  these  prairie  hills  are  outlined  by  wind 
ing  forested  belts  and  flowered  thickets  of  brush. 
Great  areas  of  thin  prairie  yield  here  and  there  to 
rounded  hills,  some  of  which  bear  upon  their  summits 
columns  of  flat  rocks  heaped  one  upon  the  other  high 
enough  to  be  seen  for  miles  against  the  low  horizon. 

These,  which  are  known  as  the  Chimney  Hills,  for 
many  years  have  been  a  cause  of  speculation  among 
the  settlers  who  have  nearly  replaced  the  Indians  since 
the  State  of  Oklahoma  replaced  the  Indian  Territory 
with  which  we  became  familiar  in  the  geographies  of 
earlier  days.  Who  were  the  builders  of  these  chimneys 
and  what  was  their  purpose  ? 

"At  a  hearing  in  Ardmore  a  few  years  ago  before 
a  United  States  court  taking  testimony  upon  some 
ancient  Indian  depredation  claims,"  writes  Colonel 
R.  A.  Sneed,  for  years  the  superintendent  of  the  Platt 
National  Park,  "  practically  all  the  residents  of  the 
Chickasaw  Nation,  Indian  and  negro,  whose  memories 
of  that  country  extend  back  fifty  years  or  more,  were 
in  attendance.  In  recounting  his  recollections  of  a 
Comanche  raid  in  which  his  master's  horses  were 
stolen,  one  old  negro  incidentally  gave  a  solution  of 


the  Chimney  Hills  which  is  the  only  one  the  writer 
ever  heard,  and  which  probably  accounts  for  all  of 

"He  said  that  his  master  lived  at  Big  Sulphur 
Springs,  farthest  west  of  any  of  the  Chickasaws;  that 
the  Kiowas  and  Comanches  raided  the  country  every 
summer  and  drove  out  horses  or  cattle  wherever  they 
could  find  them  unprotected;  that  he  had  often  gone 
with  his  master  to  find  these  stolen  cattle;  that  these 
forages  were  so  frequent  that  the  Chickasaws  had  never 
undertaken  to  occupy  any  of  their  lands  west  of  Rock 
Creek,  north  of  Big  Sulphur  Springs,  nor  west  of  the 
Washita  River  south  of  the  springs;  that  the  country 
west  of  Sulphur  Springs  was  dry,  and  water  was  hard 
to  find  unless  one  knew  just  where  to  look;  and  that 
the  Comanches  had  a  custom  of  marking  all  the  springs 
they  could  find  by  building  rock  chimneys  on  the  hills 
nearest  to  the  springs.  Only  one  chimney  would  be 
built  if  the  spring  flowed  from  beneath  the  same  hill, 
but  if  the  spring  was  distant  from  the  hill  two  chimneys 
would  be  built,  either  upon  the  same  hill  or  upon  two 
distant  hills,  and  a  sight  along  the  two  chimneys  would 
indicate  a  course  toward  the  spring. 

"The  old  man  said  that  every  hill  in  their  pasture 
had  a  Comanche  chimney  on  it  and  that  his  master 
would  not  disturb  them  because  he  did  not  want  to 
make  the  wild  Indians  mad.  There  never  was  open 
war  between  the  Chickasaws  and  the  Comanches,  but 
individual  Chickasaws  often  had  trouble  with  Co 
manche  hunting-parties. 


"The  Big  Sulphur  Springs  on  Rock  Creek  in  the 
Chickasaw  Nation  afterward  became  the  centre  around 
which  the  city  of  Sulphur  was  built,  and  after  the  town 
was  grown  to  a  population  of  two  thousand  or  more 
it  was  removed  bodily  to  make  room  for  the  Platt 
National  Park,  around  which  has  been  built  the  new 
city  of  Sulphur,  which  now  has  a  population  of  forty- 
five  hundred. 

"Many  of  the  Comanche  monuments  are  extant 
and  the  great  bluff  above  the  Bromide  Springs  of  the 
national  park  looks  out  toward  the  north  and  west 
over  a  prairie  that  extends  to  the  Rocky  Mountains; 
the  monument  that  stood  on  the  brow  of  that  bluff 
must  have  been  visible  for  many  miles  to  the  keen 
vision  of  the  Comanche  who  knew  how  to  look 
for  it." 

The  Indian  Territory  became  the  State  of  Okla 
homa  in  1907;  the  story  of  the  white  man's  peaceful 
invasion  is  one  of  absorbing  interest;  the  human 
spectacle  of  to-day  is  complex,  even  kaleidoscopic. 
In  the  thirties  and  forties  the  government  had  estab 
lished  in  the  territory  the  five  civilized  Indian  nations, 
the  Cherokees,  Chickasaws,  Choctaws,  Creeks,  and 
Seminoles,  each  with  its  allotted  boundaries,  its  native 
government,  its  legislatures,  and  its  courts.  In  many 
respects  these  were  foreign  nations  within  our  bound 
aries.  Besides  them,  the  Osage  Indians  had  their 
reservation  in  the  north,  and  fragments  of  no  less  than 
seventeen  other  tribes  lived  on  assigned  territory. 

Gradually  white  men  invaded  the  land,  purchased 


holdings  from  the  Indian  nations,  built  cities,  estab 
lished  businesses  of  many  kinds,  ran  railroads  in  all 
directions.  In  time,  the  nations  were  abolished  and 
their  remaining  lands  were  divided  up  among  the 
individuals  composing  them;  the  Indians  of  these 
nations  became  American  citizens;  their  negro  slaves, 
for  they  had  been  large  slaveholders,  received  each 
his  portion  of  the  divided  land.  Then  came  Okla 

To-day  there  is  only  one  Indian  reservation  in 
the  State,  that  of  the  Osages.  Oil  has  been  found  on 
their  land  and  they  are  the  wealthiest  people  in  the 
world  to-day,  the  average  cash  income  of  each  exceed 
ing  five  thousand  dollars  a  year.  In  a  state  with  a 
total  population  of  two  and  a  quarter  millions  live 
336,000  Indians  representing  twenty- three  tribes  and 
110,000  negroes  descended  from  slaves.  There  has 
been  much  intermarrying  between  Indians  and  whites, 
and  some  between  Indians  and  blacks.  Here  is  a 
mixture  of  races  to  baffle  the  keenest  eye. 

Elsewhere  than  in  the  Osage  Reservation,  wealth 
also  has  come  to  the  Indians.  Many  have  very  large 
incomes,  large  even  for  the  rich  of  our  Eastern  cities. 
Asphalt  also  has  enriched  many.  Cotton  is  raised 
extensively  in  the  southern  counties.  Grazing  on  a 
large  scale  has  proved  profitable.  Many  Indians  own 
costly  and  luxurious  homes,  ride  in  automobiles,  and 
enter  importantly  into  business,  politics,  and  the  pro 
fessions;  these  usually  have  more  or  less  white  blood. 
Many  full-bloods  who  have  grown  rich  without  effort 


possess  finely  furnished  bedrooms,  and  sleep  on  the 
floor  in  blankets;  elaborate  dining-rooms  with  costly 
table  equipments,  and  eat  cross-legged  on  the  kitchen 
floor;  gas-ranges,  and  cook  over  chip  fires  out-of- 
doors;  automobiles,  and  ride  blanketed  ponies.  Many 
wealthy  men  are  deeply  in  debt  because  of  useless 
luxuries  which  they  have  been  persuaded  to  buy. 

Platt  National  Park  lies  about  the  centre  of  what 
was  once  the  Chickasaw  nation.  It  is  a  grazing  and 
a  cotton  country.  There  are  thousands  of  Indians, 
many  of  them  substantial  citizens,  some  men  of  local 
influence.  Native  dress  is  seldom  seen. 

Quoting  again  from  my  correspondence  with  Col 
onel  Sneed,  here  is  the  legend  of  the  last  of  the  Dela- 

"Along  about  1840,  a  very  few  years  after  the 
Chickasaws  and  Choctaws  had  arrived  in  Indian  Ter 
ritory,  a  small  band  of  about  sixty  Delaware  Indians 
arrived  in  the  Territory,  having  roved  from  Alabama 
through  Mississippi  and  Missouri,  and  through  the 
northwest  portion  of  Arkansas.  Being  a  small  band, 
they  decided  to  link  their  fortunes  with  those  of  some 
other  tribe  of  Indians,  and  they  first  pitched  their  te 
pees  with  those  of  the  Cherokees.  But  the  Cherokee 
Chief  and  old  Chief  Wahpanucka  of  the  Delawares 
did  not  agree.  So  the  little  band  of  Delawares  con 
tinued  rambling  until  they  reached  the  Choc  taw  Nation, 
where  they  again  tried  to  make  terms  with  the  Chief 
of  the  tribe.  Evidently  no  agreement  was  reached 
between  that  Chief  and  Wahpanucka,  for  the  Delawares 


continued  their  roving  until  they  reached  the  Chicka- 
saw  Nation,  where  they  remained. 

"Old  Chief  Wahpanucka  had  a  beautiful  daughter 
whose  name  was  Deerface;  two  of  the  Delaware  braves 
were  much  in  love  with  her,  but  Deerface  could  not 
decide  which  one  of  these  warriors  she  should  take  to 
become  Chief  after  the  death  of  Wahpanucka. 

"Chief  Wahpanucka  called  the  two  warriors  be 
fore  him  and  a  powwow  was  agreed  upon.  The  coun 
cil  was  held  around  the  Council  Rocks  (which  is  now 
a  point  of  interest  within  the  Platt  National  Park), 
and  a  decision  was  reached  to  the  effect  that  at  a  cer 
tain  designated  time  the  Delawares  should  all  assemble 
on  the  top  of  the  Bromide  Cliff,  at  the  foot  of  which 
flow  the  now  famous  Bromide  and  Medicine  Springs, 
and  that  the  two  braves  should  ride  their  Indian  ponies 
to  the  edge  of  the  cliff,  which  was  at  that  time  known 
as  Medicine  Bluff,  and  jump  off  to  the  bed  of  the  creek 
about  two  hundred  feet  below.  The  one  who  survived 
was  to  marry  Deerface,  and  succeed  Wahpanucka  as 
Chief  of  the  Delawares. 

"The  race  was  run  and  both  Indian  braves  made 
the  jump  from  the  bluff,  but  both  were  killed.  When 
Deerface  saw  this  she  threw  herself  from  the  bluff 
and  died  at  the  foot  of  the  cliff  where  her  lovers  had 
met  their  death.  To-day  her  image  may  be  seen  in 
delibly  fixed  on  one  of  the  rocks  of  the  cliff  where  she 
fell,  and  the  water  of  the  Medicine  Spring  is  sup 
posed  to  be  the  briny  tears  of  the  old  Chief  when  he 
saw  the  havoc  his  decision  had  wrought.  These  tears, 


filtering  down  through  the  cliff  where  the  old  Chief 
stood,  are  credited  with  being  so  purified  that  the  water 
of  the  spring  which  they  form  is  possessed  with  remedial 
qualities  which  make  it  a  cure  for  all  human  ailments." 



TO  most  Americans  the  southwest  means  the  des 
ert,  and  it  is  true  that  most  of  Arizona,  New 
Mexico,  and  Utah,  and  portions  of  Colorado  and  south 
ern  California,  are  arid  or  semiarid  lands,  relieved,  how 
ever,  by  regions  of  fertility  and  agricultural  pros 
perity.  In  popular  conception  the  desert  has  been 
the  negative  of  all  that  means  beauty,  richness,  and 
sublimity;  it  has  been  the  synonym  of  poverty  and 
death.  Gradually  but  surely  the  American  public  is 
learning  that  again  popular  conception  is  wrong,  that 
the  desert  is  as  positive  a  factor  in  scenery  as  the 
mountain,  that  it  has  its  own  glowing  beauty,  its  own 
intense  personality,  and  occasionally,  in  its  own  amaz 
ing  way,  a  sublimity  as  gorgeous,  as  compelling,  and 
as  emotion-provoking  as  the  most  stupendous  snow 
capped  range. 

The  American  desert  region  includes  some  of  the 
world's  greatest  scenery.  The  Grand  Canyon  of  the 
Colorado  River  is  sunk  in  a  plateau  which,  while 
sprinkled  with  scant  pine,  is  nearly  rainless.  Zion 
Canyon  is  a  palette  of  brilliant  color  lying  among  golden 
sands.  A  score  of  national  monuments  conserve  large 
natural  bridges,  forests  of  petrified  trees,  interesting 
volcanic  or  other  phenomena  of  prehistoric  times, 
areas  of  strange  cactus  growths,  deposits  of  the  bones 

of  monstrous  reptiles,  and  remains  of  a  civilization 



which  preceded  the  discovery  of  America;  and,  in 
addition  to  these,  innumerable  places  of  remarkable 
magnificence  as  yet  unknown  except  to  the  geologist, 
the  topographer,  the  miner,  the  Indian,  and  the  ad 
venturer  in  unfrequented  lands. 

This  arid  country  consists  of  rolling  sandy  plains 
as  broad  as  seas,  dotted  with  gray  sage-brush  and  re 
lieved  by  bare  craggy  monadnocks  and  naked  ranges 
which  the  rising  and  the  setting  sun  paints  unbelievable 
colors.  Here  and  there  thin  growths  of  cottonwood 
outline  thin  ribbons  of  rivers,  few  and  far  between. 
Here  and  there  alkali  whitens  the  edges  of  stained 
hollows  where  water  lies  awhile  after  spring  cloud 
bursts.  Here  and  there  are  salt  ponds  with  no  outlet. 
Yet  even  in  the  desolation  of  its  tawny  monoto 
ny  it  has  a  fascination  which  is  insistent  and  cumu 

But  the  southwest  is  not  all  desert.  There  are 
great  areas  of  thin  grazing  ranges  and  lands  where  dry 
farming  yields  fair  crops.  There  are  valleys  which 
produce  fruits  and  grains  in  abundance.  There  are 
hamlets  and  villages  and  cities  which  are  among  the 
oldest  in  America,  centres  of  fertile  tracts  surrounded 
by  deserts  which  need  only  water  to  become  the  rich 
est  lands  on  the  continent.  There  are  regions  reclaimed 
by  irrigation  where  farming  has  brought  prosperity. 
In  other  places  the  plateau  covers  itself  for  hundreds 
of  square  miles  with  scrubby  pine  and  cedar. 

All  in  all,  it  is  a  land  of  rare  charm  and  infinite 


To  appreciate  a  region  which  more  and  more  will 
enter  into  American  consciousness  and  divide  travel 
with  the  mountains,  the  reader  should  know  something 
of  its  structural  history. 

The  southwestern  part  of  the  United  States  rose 
above  sea-level  and  sank  below  it  many  times  during 
the  many  thousands  of  centuries  preceding  its  present 
state,  which  is  that  of  a  sandy  and  generally  desert 
plateau,  five  to  ten  thousand  feet  in  altitude.  How 
many  times  it  repeated  the  cycle  is  not  fully  known. 
Some  portions  of  it  doubtless  were  submerged  oftener 
than  others.  Some  were  lifting  while  others  were  low 
ering.  And,  meantime,  mountains  rose  and  were  car 
ried  away  by  erosion  to  give  place  to  other  mountains 
which  also  wore  away;  river  systems  formed  and  dis 
appeared,  lakes  and  inland  seas  existed  and  ceased  to 
exist.  The  history  of  our  southwest  would  have  been 
tempestuous  indeed  had  it  been  compassed  within  say 
the  life  of  one  man;  but,  spread  over  a  period  of  time 
inconceivable  to  man,  there  may  have  been  no  time 
when  it  might  have  seemed  to  be  more  active  in  change 
than  its  still  hot  deserts  seem  to-day  to  the  traveller 
in  passing  trains. 

Other  parts  of  the  continent,  no  doubt,  have  un 
dergone  as  many  changes;  our  southwest  is  not  singu 
lar  in  that.  But  nowhere  else,  perhaps,  has  the  change 
left  evidences  so  plain  and  so  interesting  to  the  unsci 
entific  observer.  The  page  of  earth's  history  is  more 
easily  read  upon  the  bare  deserts  of  our  southwest  than 
on  the  grass-concealed  prairies  of  the  Mississippi 


Valley  or  the  eroded  and  forested  ranges  of  the  Ap 

Before  the  Rockies  and  the  Sierra  even  existed,  in 
the  shallow  sea  which  covered  this  part  of  the  con 
tinent  were  deposited  the  ooze  which  later,  when  this 
region  rose  above  the  sea,  became  the  magnificent 
limestones  of  the  Grand  Canyon.  Muds  accumulated 
which  to-day  are  seen  in  many  highly  colored  shales. 
Long  ages  of  erosion  from  outlying  mountain  regions 
spread  it  thick  with  gravels  and  sands  which  now  ap 
pear  in  rocky  walls  of  deep  canyons.  A  vast  plain 
was  built  up  and  graded  by  these  deposits.  The  trunks 
of  trees  washed  down  by  the  floods  from  far  distant 
uplands  were  buried  in  these  muds  and  sands,  where, 
in  the  course  of  unnumbered  centuries,  they  turned  to 
stone.  They  are  the  petrified  forests  of  to-day. 

Mountains,  predecessors  of  our  modern  Sierra, 
lifted  in  the  south  and  west,  squeezed  the  moisture 
from  the  Pacific  winds,  and  turned  the  region  into 
desert.  This  was  in  the  Jurassic  Period.  Sands  thou 
sands  of  feet  deep  were  accumulated  by  the  desert 
winds  which  are  to-day  the  sandstones  of  the  giant 
walls  of  Zion  Canyon. 

But  this  was  not  the  last  desert,  for  again  the 
region  sank  below  the  sea.  Again  for  half  a  million 
years  or  more  ooze  settled  upon  the  sands  to  turn  to 
limestone  millions  of  years  later.  In  this  Jurassic  sea 
sported  enormous  marine  monsters  whose  bones  set 
tled  to  the  bottom  to  be  unearthed  in  our  times,  and 
great  flying  reptiles  crossed  its  water. 


Again  the  region  approached  sea-level  and  accu 
mulated,  above  its  new  limestones,  other  beds  of  sands. 
New  river  systems  formed  and  brought  other  accumu 
lations  from  distant  highlands.  It  was  then  a  low 
swampy  plain  of  enormous  size,  whose  northern  limits 
reached  Montana,  and  which  touched  what  now  is 
Kansas  on  its  east.  Upon  the  borders  of  its  swamps, 
in  Cretaceous  times,  lived  gigantic  reptiles,  the  Di 
nosaurs  and  their  ungainly  companions  whose  bones 
are  found  to-day  in  several  places. 

For  the  last  time  the  region  sank  and  a  shallow 
sea  swept  from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  to  the  Arctic  Ocean. 
Again  new  limestones  formed,  and  as  the  surface  very 
slowly  rose  for  the  last  time  at  the  close  of  the  Cre 
taceous  Period  many  new  deposits  were  added  to  the 
scenic  exhibit  of  to-day. 

Meantime  other  startling  changes  were  making 
which  extended  over  a  lapse  of  time  which  human 
mind  cannot  grasp.  Responding  to  increasing  pres 
sures  from  below,  the  continent  was  folding  from  north 
to  south.  The  miracle  of  the  making  of  the  Rockies 
was  enacting. 

During  all  of  Tertiary  times  earth  movements  of 
tremendous  energy  rocked  and  folded  the  crust  and 
hastened  change.  The  modern  Sierra  rose  upon  the 
eroded  ruins  of  its  predecessor,  again  shutting  off  the 
moisture-laden  western  winds  and  turning  the  south 
west  again  into  a  desert.  One  of  the  mountain- 
building  impulses  spread  eastward  from  the  Sierra  to 
the  Wasatch  Mountains,  but  Nature's  project  for  this 


vast  granite-cored  table-land  never  was  realized,  for 
continually  its  central  sections  caved  and  fell.  And 
so  it  happened  that  the  eastern  edge  of  the  Sierra  and 
the  western  edge  of  the  Wasatch  Mountains  became 
the  precipitous  edges,  thousands  of  feet  high,  of  a 
mountain-studded  desert  which  to-day  is  called  the 
Great  Basin.  It  includes  southeastern  Oregon,  nearly 
all  of  Nevada,  the  western  half  of  Utah,  and  a  large 
area  in  the  south  of  California,  besides  parts  of  Idaho 
and  Wyoming.  It  is  880  miles  north  and  south  and 
572  miles  wide.  Its  elevation  is  five  thousand  feet, 
more  or  less,  and  its  area  more  than  two  hundred 
thousand  square  miles. 

This  enormous  bowl  contained  no  outlet  to  the  sea, 
and  the  rivers  which  flowed  into  it  from  all  its  moun 
tainous  borders  created  a  prehistoric  lake  with  an 
area  of  fifty-four  thousand  square  miles  which  was 
named  Lake  Bonne ville  after  the  army  officer  whose 
adventures  in  1833  were  narrated  by  Washington 
Irving;  but  it  was  Fremont  who  first  clearly  described 
it.  Lake  Bonneville  has  evaporated  and  disappeared, 
but  in  its  place  are  many  salty  lakes,  the  greatest  of 
which  is  Great  Salt  Lake  in  Utah.  Attenuated  rivers 
still  flow  into  the  Great  Basin,  but  are  lost  in  their 
sands.  The  greatest  of  these,  the  Mohave  River,  is  a 
hundred  miles  long,  but  is  not  often  seen  because  it 
hides  its  waters  chiefly  under  the  surface  sands.  Lake 
Bonneville's  prehistoric  beaches  exist  to-day.  Trans 
continental  passengers  by  rail  cross  its  ancient  bed, 
but  few  know  it. 


The  Great  Basin  to-day  is  known  to  travellers 
principally  by  the  many  lesser  deserts  which  compose 
it,  deserts  separated  from  each  other  by  lesser  moun 
tain  ranges  and  low  divides.  Its  southern  and  south 
eastern  boundaries  are  the  plateaus  and  mountains 
which  form  the  northern  watershed  of  the  muddy 
Colorado  River  and  its  confluents.  South  of  the 
Colorado,  the  plateaus  of  New  Mexico,  Arizona,  and 
southern  California  gradually  subside  to  the  Rio 

During  this  period  and  the  Quaternary  which  fol 
lowed  it,  volcanoes  appeared  in  many  places;  their 
dead  cones  diversify  our  modern  landscape.  It  was 
during  the  Quaternary  Period,  in  whose  latter  end 
lives  man,  that  erosion  dug  the  mighty  canyons  of  our 
great  southwest.  The  Colorado  was  sweeping  out  the 
Grand  Canyon  at  the  same  time  that,  far  in  the  north, 
the  glaciers  of  the  Great  Ice  Age  were  carving  from 
Algonkian  shales  and  limestones  the  gorgeous  cirques 
and  valleys  of  Glacier  National  Park. 



F INHERE  is  only  one  Grand  Canyon.  It  lies  in 
JL  northern  Arizona,  and  the  Colorado  River,  one 
of  the  greatest  of  American  rivers,  flows  through  its 
inner  gorge.  It  must  not  be  confused  with  the  Grand 
Canyon  of  the  Yellowstone,  or  with  any  of  the  grande 
canons  which  the  Spaniards  so  named  because  they 
were  big  canyons. 

The  Grand  Canyon  is  217  miles  long,  8  to  12  miles 
wide  at  the  rim,  and  more  than  a  mile  deep.  It  is 
the  Colossus  of  canyons,  by  far  the  hugest  example  of 
stream  erosion  in  the  world.  It  is  gorgeously  colored. 
It  is  by  common  consent  the  most  stupendous  spectacle 
in  the  world.  It  may  be  conceived  as  a  mountain 
range  reversed.  Could  its  moulded  image,  similarly 
colored,  stand  upon  the  desert  floor,  it  would  be  a 
spectacle  second  only  to  the  vast  mould  itself. 

More  than  a  hundred  thousand  persons  visit  the 
Grand  Canyon  each  year.  In  other  lands  it  is  our 
most  celebrated  scenic  possession.  It  was  made  a 
national  park  in  1919. 


The  Grand  Canyon  is  not  of  America  but  of  the 

world.    Like  the  Desert  of  Sahara  and  the  monster 



group  of  the  Himalayas,  it  is  so  entirely  the  greatest 
example  of  its  kind  that  it  refuses  limits.  This  is  true 
of  it  also  as  a  spectacle;  far  truer,  in  fact,  for,  if  it  is 
possible  to  compare  things  so  dissimilar,  in  this  respect 
certainly  it  will  lead  all  others.  None  see  it  without 
being  deeply  moved — all  to  silence,  some  even  to  tears. 
It  is  charged  to  the  rim  with  emotion;  but  the  emotion 
of  the  first  view  varies.  Some  stand  astounded  at  its 
vastness.  Others  are  stupefied  and  search  their  souls 
in  vain  for  definition.  Some  tremble.  Some  are  up 
lifted  with  a  sense  of  appalling  beauty.  For  a  time 
the  souls  of  all  are  naked  in  the  presence. 

This  reaction  is  apparent  in  the  writings  of  those 
who  have  visited  it;  no  other  spectacle  in  America 
has  inspired  so  large  a  literature.  Joaquin  Miller 
found  it  fearful,  full  of  glory,  full  of  God.  Charles 
Dudley  Warner  pronounced  it  by  far  the  most  sub 
lime  of  earthly  spectacles.  William  Winter  saw  it  a 
pageant  of  ghastly  desolation.  Hamlin  Garland  found 
its  lines  chaotic  and  disturbing  but  its  combinations 
of  color  and  shadow  beautiful.  Upon  John  Muir  it 
bestowed  a  new  sense  of  earth's  beauty. 

Marius  R.  Campbell,  whose  geological  researches 
have  familiarized  him  with  Nature's  scenic  gamut,  told 
me  that  his  first  day  on  the  rim  left  him  emotionally 
cold;  it  was  not  until  he  had  lived  with  the  spectacle 
that  realization  slowly  dawned.  I  think  this  is  the 
experience  of  very  many,  a  fact  which  renders  still  more 
tragic  a  prevailing  public  assumption  that  the  Grand 
Canyon  is  a  one-day  stop  in  a  transcontinental  journey. 


It  is  not  surprising  that  wonder  is  deeply  stirred 
by  its  vastness,  its  complexity,  and  the  realization  of 
Nature's  titanic  labor  in  its  making.  It  is  far  from 
strange  that  extreme  elation  sometimes  follows  upon 
a  revelation  so  stupendous  and  different.  That  beauty 
so  extraordinary  should  momentarily  free  emotion  from 
control  is  natural  enough.  But  why  the  expressions 
of  repulsion  not  infrequently  encountered  upon  the 
printed  pages  of  the  past?  I  have  personally  inquired 
of  many  of  our  own  day  without  finding  one,  even 
among  the  most  sensitive,  whom  it  repelled.  Perhaps 
a  clew  is  discovered  in  the  introductory  paragraphs  of 
an  inspired  word-picture  which  the  late  Clarence  E. 
Dutton  hid  in  a  technical  geological  paper  of  1880. 
"The  lover  of  nature,"  he  wrote,  "whose  perceptions 
have  been  trained  in  the  Alps,  in  Italy,  Germany, 
or  New  England,  in  the  Appalachians  or  Cordilleras, 
in  Scotland  or  Colorado,  would  enter  this  strange 
region  with  a  shock  and  dwell  there  with  a  sense  of 
oppression,  and  perhaps  with  horror.  Whatsoever 
things  he  had  learned  to  regard  as  beautiful  and  noble 
he  would  seldom  or  never  see,  and  whatsoever  he  might 
see  would  appear  to  him  as  anything  but  beautiful  or 
noble.  Whatsoever  might  be  bold  or  striking  would 
seem  at  first  only  grotesque.  The  colors  would  be  the 
very  ones  he  had  learned  to  shun  as  tawdry  or  bizarre. 
The  tones  and  shades,  modest  and  tender,  Subdued 
yet  rich,  in  which  his  fancy  had  always  taken  Special 
delight,  would  be  the  ones  which  are  conspicuously 


I  suspect  that  this  repulsion,  this  horror,  as  several 
have  called  it,  was  born  of  the  conventions  of  an  earlier 
generation  which  bound  conceptions  of  taste  and 
beauty,  as  of  art,  dress,  religion,  and  human  relations 
generally,  in  shackles  which  do  not  exist  in  these  days 
of  individualism  and  broad  horizons.  To-day  we  see 
the  Grand  Canyon  with  profound  astonishment  but 
without  prejudice.  Its  amazing  size,  its  bewildering 
configuration,  its  unprecedented  combinations  of  color 
affect  the  freed  and  elated  consciousness  of  our  times 
as  another  and  perhaps  an  ultimate  revelation  in  nature 
of  law,  order,  and  beauty. 

In  these  pages  I  shall  make  no  attempt  to  describe 
the  Grand  Canyon.  Nature  has  written  her  own  de 
scription,  graving  it  with  a  pen  of  water  in  rocks  which 
run  the  series  of  the  eternal  ages.  Her  story  can  be 
read  only  in  the  original;  translations  are  futile. 
Here  I  shall  try  only  to  help  a  little  in  the  reading. 


The  Grand  Canyon  was  cut  by  one  of  the  great 
rivers  of  the  continent,  the  Colorado,  which  enters 
Arizona  from  the  north  and  swings  sharply  west; 
thence  it  turns  south  to  form  most  of  Arizona's  western 
boundary,  and  a  few  miles  over  the  Mexican  border 
empties  into  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  California.  It 
drains  three  hundred  thousand  square  miles  of  Arizona, 
Utah,  Wyoming,  and  Colorado.  It  is  formed  in  Utah 
by  the  confluence  of  the  Green  and  the  Grand  Rivers. 


Including  the  greater  of  these,  the  Green  River,  it 
makes  a  stream  fifteen  hundred  miles  in  length  which 
collects  the  waters  of  the  divide  south  and  east  of  the 
Great  Basin  and  of  many  ranges  of  the  Rocky  Moun 
tain  system.  The  Grand  River,  for  its  contribution, 
collects  the  drainage  of  the  Rockies'  mighty  western 
slopes  in  Colorado. 

The  lower  reaches  of  these  great  tributaries  and 
practically  all  of  the  Colorado  River  itself  flow  through 
more  than  five  hundred  miles  of  canyons  which  they 
were  obliged  to  dig  through  the  slowly  upheaving 
sandstone  plateaus  in  order  to  maintain  their  access 
to  the  sea.  Succeeding  canyons  bear  names  desig 
nating  their  scenic  or  geologic  character.  Progressively 
southward  they  score  deeper  into  the  strata  of  the 
earth's  crust  until,  as  they  approach  their  climax, 
they  break  through  the  bottom  of  the  Paleozoic  lime- 
stoHe  deep  into  the  heart  of  the  Archean  gneiss.  This 
limestone  trench  is  known  as  the  Marble  Canyon,  the 
Archean  trench  as  the  Granite  Gorge.  The  lower  part 
of  the  Marble  Canyon  and  all  the  Granite  Gorge, 
together  with  their  broad,  vividly  colored  and  fantas 
tically  carved  upper  canyon  ten  miles  across  from  rim 
to  rim,  a  mile  high  from  water  to  rim-level,  the  climax 
of  the  world  of  canyons  and  the  most  gorgeous  spec 
tacle  on  earth,  is  the  Grand  Canyon  of  the  Colorado. 
It  lies  east  and  west  in  the  northern  part  of  the  State. 

To  comprehend  it,  recall  one  of  those  ditches  which 
we  all  have  seen  crossing  level  fields  or  bordering 
country  roads.  It  is  broad  from  rim  to  rim  and  deeply 


indented  by  the  side  washes  which  follow  heavy 
showers.  Its  sides  descend  by  terraces,  steep  in 
places  with  gentle  slopes  between  the  steeps,  and  on 
these  slopes  are  elevations  of  rock  or  mud  which  floods 
have  failed  to  wash  away.  Finally,  in  the  middle,  is 
the  narrow  trench  which  now,  in  dry  weather,  carries 
a  small  trickling  stream.  Not  only  does  this  ditch 
roughly  typify  the  Grand  Canyon,  reproducing  in 
clumsy,  inefficient  miniature  the  basic  characteristics 
of  its  outline,  but  it  also  is  identical  hi  the  process  of 
its  making. 

Imagining  it  hi  cross-section,  we  find  its  sides 
leading  down  by  successive  precipices  to  broad  inter 
mediate  sloping  surfaces.  We  find  upon  these  broad 
surfaces  enormous  mesas  and  lofty,  ornately  carved 
edifices  of  rock  which  the  floods  have  left  standing. 
We  find  in  its  middle,  winding  snakelike  from  side  to 
side,  the  narrow  gorge  of  the  river. 

The  parallel  goes  further.  It  is  not  at  all  neces 
sary  to  conceive  that  either  the  wayside  ditch  or  the 
Grand  Canyon  was  once  brimful  of  madly  dashing 
waters.  On  the  contrary,  neither  may  ever  have  held 
much  greater  streams  than  they  hold  to-day.  In  both 
cases  the  power  of  the  stream  has  been  applied  to 
downward  trenching;  the  greater  spreading  sides  were 
cut  by  the  erosion  of  countless  side  streamlets  re 
sulting  temporarily  from  periods  of  melting  snow  or  of 
local  rainfall.  It  was  these  streamlets  which  cut  the 
side  canyons  and  left  standing  between  them  the  bold 
promontories  of  the  rim.  It  was  these  streamlets, 


working  from  the  surface,  which  separated  portions  of 
these  promontories  from  the  plateau  and  turned  them 
into  isolated  mesas.  It  was  the  erosion  of  these  mesas 
which  turned  many  of  them  into  the  gigantic  and 
fantastic  temples  and  towers  which  rise  from  the 
canyon's  bowl. 

Standing  upon  the  rim  and  overlooking  miles  of 
these  successive  precipices  and  intermediate  templed 
levels,  we  see  the  dark  gorge  of  the  granite  trench, 
and,  deep  within  it,  wherever  its  windings  permit  a 
view  of  its  bottom,  a  narrow  ribbon  of  brown  river. 
This  is  the  Colorado — a  rill;  but  when  we  have  de 
scended  six  thousand  feet  of  altitude  to  its  edge  we 
find  it  a  rushing  turbulent  torrent  of  muddy  water. 
Its  average  width  is  three  hundred  feet;  its  average 
depth  thirty  feet.  It  is  industriously  digging  the  Grand 
Canyon  still  deeper,  and  perhaps  as  rapidly  as  it  ever 
dug  since  it  entered  the  granite. 

Developing  the  thought  in  greater  detail,  let  us 
glance  at  the  illustrations  of  this  chapter  and  at  any 
photographs  which  may  be  at  hand,  and  realization 
will  begin.  Let  imagination  dart  back  a  million  years 
or  more  to  the  time  when  this  foreground  rim  and  that 
far  run  across  the  vast  chasm  are  one  continuous  plain; 
perhaps  it  is  a  pine  forest,  with  the  river,  no  greater 
than  to-day,  perhaps  not  so  great,  winding  through  it 
close  to  the  surface  level.  As  the  river  cuts  downward, 
the  spring  floods  following  the  winter  snows  cave  in 
its  banks  here  and  there,  forming  sharply  slanted 
valleys  which  enclose  promontories  between  them. 


Spring  succeeds  spring,  and  these  side  valleys  deepen 
and  eat  backward  while  the  promontories  lengthen  and 
grow.  The  harder  strata  resist  the  disintegration  of 
alternate  heat  and  cold,  and,  while  always  receding, 
hold  their  form  as  cliffs;  the  softer  strata  between 
the  cliffs  crumbles  and  the  waste  of  spring  waters 
spreads  them  out  in  long  flattened  slopes.  The  cen 
turies  pass.  The  ruin  buries  itself  deep  in  the  soft 
sandstone.  The  side  valleys  work  miles  back  into  the 
pine  forest.  Each  valley  acquires  its  own  system  of 
erosion;  into  each,  from  either  side,  enter  smaller 
valleys  which  themselves  are  eating  backward  into  the 

The  great  valley  of  the  Colorado  now  has  broad 
converging  cliff-broken  sides.  Here  and  there  these 
indentations  meet  far  in  the  background  behind  the 
promontories,  isolating  island-like  mesas. 

The  rest  of  the  story  is  simple  repetition.  Imagine 
enough  thousands  of  centuries  and  you  will  imagine 
the  Grand  Canyon.  Those  myriad  temples  and  cas 
tles  and  barbaric  shrines  are  all  that  the  rains  and 
melting  snows  have  left  of  noble  mesas,  some  of  which, 
when  originally  isolated,  enclosed,  as  the  marble  en 
closes  the  future  statue,  scores  of  the  lesser  but  mighty 
structures  which  compose  the  wonder  city  of  the  depths. 

These  architectural  operations  of  Nature  may  be 
seen  to-day  in  midway  stages.  Find  on  the  map  the 
Powell  Plateau  in  the  northwest  of  the  canyon.  Once 
it  was  continuous  with  the  rim,  a  noble  promontory. 
It  was  cut  out  from  the  rim  perhaps  within  the  exist- 


ence  of  the  human  race.  A  few  hundred  thousand 
years  from  now  it  will  be  one  or  more  Aladdin  pal 

Find  on  the  map  the  great  Walhalla  Plateau  in 
the  east  of  the  canyon.  Note  that  its  base  is  nearly 
separated  from  the  parental  rim;  a  thousand  centuries 
or  so  and  its  isolation  will  be  complete.  Not  long 
after  that,  as  geologists  reckon  length  of  time,  it  will 
divide  into  two  plateaus;  it  is  easy  to  pick  the  place 
of  division.  The  tourist  of  a  million  years  hence  will 
see,  where  now  it  stands,  a  hundred  glowing  castles. 

Let  us  look  again  at  our  photographs,  which  now 
we  can  see  with  understanding.  To  realize  the  spec 
tacle  of  the  canyon,  let  imagination  paint  these  strata 
their  brilliant  colors.  It  will  not  be  difficult;  but  here 
again  we  must  understand. 

It  is  well  to  recall  that  these  strata  were  laid  in  the 
sea,  and  that  they  hardened  into  stone  when  the  earth's 
skin  was  pushed  thousands  of  feet  in  air.  Originally 
they  were  the  washings  of  distant  highlands  brought 
down  by  rivers;  the  coloring  of  the  shales  and  sand 
stones  is  that  of  the  parent  rock  modified,  no  doubt, 
by  chemical  action  in  sea-water.  The  limestone, 
product  of  the  sea,  is  gray. 

As  these  differently  colored  strata  were  once  con 
tinuous  across  the  canyon,  it  follows  that  their  se 
quence  is  practically  identical  on  both  sides  of  the  can 
yon.  That  the  colors  seem  confused  is  because,  view 
ing  the  spectacle  from  an  elevation,  we  see  the  enormous 
indentations  of  the  opposite  rim  in  broken  and  dis- 


organized  perspective.  Few  minds  are  patient  and 
orderly  enough  to  fully  disentangle  the  kaleidoscopic 
disarray,  but,  if  we  can  identify  the  strata  by  form 
as  well  as  color,  we  can  at  least  comprehend  without 
trouble  our  principal  outline;  and  comprehension  is 
the  broad  highway  to  appreciation. 

To  identify  these  strata,  it  is  necessary  to  call  them 
by  name.  The  names  that  geologists  have  assigned 
them  have  no  scientific  significance  other  than  iden 
tity;  they  are  Indian  and  local. 

Beginning  at  the  canyon  run  we  have  a  stalwart 
cliff  of  gray  limestone  known  as  the  Kaibab  Limestone, 
or,  conversationally,  the  Kaibab;  it  is  about  seven 
hundred  feet  thick.  Of  this  product  of  a  million  years 
of  microscopic  life  and  death  on  sea-bottoms  is  formed 
the  splendid  south-rim  cliffs  from  which  we  view  the 
chasm.  Across  the  canyon  it  is  always  recognizable 
as  the  rim. 

Below  the  talus  of  the  Kaibab  is  the  Coconino 
sandstone,  light  yellowish-gray,  coarse  of  grain,  the 
product  of  swift  currents  of  untold  thousands  of  cen 
turies  ago.  This  stratum  makes  a  fine  bright  cliff 
usually  about  four  hundred  feet  in  thickness,  an  effec 
tive  roofing  for  the  glowing  reds  of  the  depths. 

Immediately  below  the  Coconino  are  the  splendid 
red  shales  and  sandstones  known  as  the  Supai  forma 
tion.  These  lie  in  many  strata  of  varying  shades, 
qualities,  and  thicknesses,  but  all,  seen  across  the  can 
yon,  merging  into  a  single  enormous  horizontal  body 
of  gorgeous  red.  The  Supai  measures  eleven  hundred 


feet  in  perpendicular  thickness,  but  as  it  is  usually 
seen  in  slopes  which  sometimes  are  long  and  gentle, 
it  presents  to  the  eye  a  surface  several  times  as  broad. 
This  is  the  most  prominent  single  mass  of  color  in  the 
canyon,  for  not  only  does  it  form  the  broadest  feature 
of  the  opposite  wall  and  of  the  enormous  promontories 
which  jut  therefrom,  but  the  main  bodies  of  Buddha, 
Zoroaster,  and  many  others  of  the  fantastic  temples 
which  rise  from  the  floor. 

Below  the  Supai,  a  perpendicular  wall  of  intense 
red  five  hundred  feet  high  forces  its  personality  upon 
every  foot  of  the  canyon's  vast  length.  This  is  the 
famous  Redwall,  a  gray  limestone  stained  crimson 
with  the  drip  of  Supai  dye  from  above.  Harder  than 
the  sloping  sandstone  above  and  the  shale  below,  it 
pushes  aggressively  into  the  picture,  squared,  per 
pendicular,  glowing.  It  winds  in  and  out  of  every  bay 
and  gulf,  and  fronts  precipitously  every  flaring  prom 
ontory.  It  roofs  with  overhanging  eaves  many  a  noble 
palace  and  turns  many  a  towering  monument  into  a 

Next  below  in  series  is  the  Tonto,  a  deep,  broad, 
shallow  slant  of  dull-green  and  yellow  shale,  which, 
with  the  thin  broad  sandstone  base  on  which  it  rests, 
forms  the  floor  of  the  outer  canyon,  the  tessellated 
pavement  of  the  city  of  flame.  Without  the  Tonto's 
green  the  spectacle  of  the  Grand  Canyon  would  have 
missed  its  contrast  and  its  fulness. 

Through  this  floor  the  Granite  Gorge  winds  its 
serpentine  way,  two  thousand  feet  deep,  dark  with 


shadows,  shining  in  places  where  the  river  swings  in 

These  are  the  series  of  form  and  color.  They 
occur  with  great  regularity  except  in  several  spots 
deep  in  the  canyon  where  small  patches  of  gleaming 
quartzites  and  brilliant  red  shales  show  against  the 
dark  granite;  the  largest  of  these  lies  in  the  depths 
directly  opposite  El  Tovar.  These  rocks  are  all  that 
one  sees  of  ancient  Algonkian  strata  which  once  over 
lay  the  granite  to  a  depth  of  thirteen  thousand  feet — 
more  than  twice  the  present  total  depth  of  the  canyon. 
The  erosion  of  many  thousands  of  centuries  wore  them 
away  before  the  rocks  that  now  compose  the  floor, 
the  temples  and  the  precipiced  walls  of  the  great  can 
yon  were  even  deposited  in  the  sea  as  sand  and  lime 
stone  ooze,  a  fact  that  strikingly  emphasizes  the  enor 
mous  age  of  this  exhibit.  Geologists  speak  of  these 
splashes  of  Algonkian  rocks  as  the  Unkar  group, 
another  local  Indian  designation.  There  is  also  a  sim 
ilar  Chuar  group,  which  need  not  concern  any  except 
those  who  make  a  close  study  of  the  canyon. 

This  is  the  picture.  The  imagination  may  realize 
a  fleet,  vivid  impression  from  the  photograph.  The 
visitor  upon  the  rim,  outline  in  hand,  may  trace  its 
twisting  elements  in  a  few  moments  of  attentive  ob 
servation,  and  thereafter  enjoy  his  canyon  as  one  only 
enjoys  a  new  city  when  he  has  mastered  its  scheme 
and  spirit,  and  can  mentally  classify  its  details  as  they 
pass  before  him. 

To  one  thus  prepared,  the  Grand  Canyon  ceases 


to  be  the  brew-pot  of  chaotic  emotion  and  becomes  the 
orderly  revelation  of  Nature,  the  master  craftsman 
and  the  divine  artist. 


Entrance  is  from  the  south.  The  motor-road  to 
Grand  View  is  available  for  most  of  the  year.  The 
railroad  to  the  El  Tovar  Hotel  serves  the  year  around, 
for  the  Grand  Canyon  is  an  all-year  resort.  There 
is  a  short  winter  of  heavy  snows  on  the  rim,  but 
not  in  the  canyon,  which  may  be  descended  at  all 
seasons.  Both  routes  terminate  on  the  rim.  Always 
dramatic,  the  Grand  Canyon  welcomes  the  pilgrim  in 
the  full  panoply  of  its  appalling  glory.  There  is  no 
waiting  in  the  anteroom,  no  sounding  of  trumpets, 
no  ceremony  of  presentation.  He  stands  at  once  in 
the  presence. 

Most  visitors  have  bought  tickets  at  home  which 
permit  only  one  day's  stay.  The  irrecoverable  sen 
sation  of  the  first  view  is  broken  by  the  necessity  for 
an  immediate  decision  upon  how  to  spend  that  day, 
for  if  one  is  to  descend  horseback  to  the  river  he  must 
engage  his  place  and  don  his  riding-clothes  at  once. 
Under  this  stress  the  majority  elect  to  remain  on  the 
rim  for  reasons  wholly  apart  from  any  question  of 
respective  merit. 

After  all,  if  only  one  day  is  possible,  it  is  the  wise 
decision.  With  the  rim  road,  over  which  various  drives 
are  scheduled,  and  several  commanding  points  to  whose 
precipices  one  may  walk,  it  will  be  a  day  to  remember 


for  a  lifetime.  One  should  not  attempt  too  much  in 
this  one  day.  It  is  enough  to  sit  in  the  presence  of  the 
spectacle.  Fortunate  is  he  who  may  stay  another 
day  and  descend  the  trail  into  the  streets  of  this  vast 
city;  many  times  fortunate  he  who  may  live  a  little 
amid  its  glories. 

Because  of  this  general  habit  of  "  seeing  "  the  Grand 
Canyon  between  sunrise  and  sunset,  the  admirable 
hotel  accommodations  are  not  extensive,  but  sufficient. 
There  are  cottage  accommodations  also  at  cheaper 
rates.  Hotels  and  cottages  are  well  patronized  sum 
mer  and  winter.  Upon  the  rim  are  unique  rest- 
houses,  in  one  of  which  is  a  high-power  telescope. 
There  is  a  memorial  altar  to  John  Wesley  Powell,  the 
first  explorer  of  the  canyon.  There  is  an  excellent  re 
production  of  a  Hopi  house.  There  is  an  Indian  camp. 
The  day's  wanderer  upon  the  rim  will  not  lack  enter 
tainment  when  his  eyes  turn  for  rest  from  the  chasm. 

From  the  hotel,  coaches  make  regular  trips  daily 
to  various  view-points.  Hopi  Point,  Mohave  Point, 
Yavapai  Point,  and  Grandeur  Point  may  all  be  visited; 
the  run  of  eight  miles  along  the  famous  Hermit  Rim 
Road  permits  brief  stops  at  Hopi,  Mohave,  and  Pima 
Points.  Automobiles  also  make  regular  runs  to  the 
gorgeous  spectacle  from  Grand  View.  Still  more  dis 
tant  points  may  be  made  in  private  or  hired  cars. 
Navajo  Point  offers  unequalled  views  up  and  down  the 
full  length  of  the  canyon,  and  an  automobile-road  will 
bring  the  visitor  within  easy  reach  of  Bass  Camp  near 
Havasupai  Point  in  the  far  west  of  the  reservation. 


Many  one-day  visitors  take  none  of  these  stage 
and  automobile  trips,  contented  to  dream  the  hours 
away  upon  Yavapai  or  Hopi  Points  near  by.  After 
all,  it  is  just  as  well.  A  single  view-point  cannot  be 
mastered  in  one's  first  day,  so  what's  the  use  of  others? 
On  the  other  hand,  seeing  the  same  view  from  different 
view-points  miles  apart  will  enrich  and  elaborate  it. 
Besides,  one  should  see  many  views  in  order  to  acquire 
some  conception,  however  small,  of  the  intricacy  and 
grandeur  of  the  canyon.  Besides,  these  trips  help  to 
rest  the  eyes  and  mind.  It  is  hard  indeed  to  advise 
the  unlucky  one-day  visitor.  It  is  as  if  a  dyspeptic 
should  lead  you  to  an  elaborate  banquet  of  a  dozen 
courses,  and  say:  "I  have  permission  to  eat  three 
bites.  Please  help  me  choose  them." 

Wherever  he  stands  upon  the  run  the  appalling 
silence  hushes  the  voice  to  whispers.  No  cathedral 
imposes  stillness  so  complete.  It  is  sacrilege  to  speak, 
almost  to  move.  And  yet  the  Grand  Canyon  is  a 
moving  picture.  It  changes  every  moment.  Always 
shadows  are  disappearing  here,  appearing  there;  short 
ening  here,  lengthening  there.  With  every  passing 
hour  it  becomes  a  different  thing.  It  is  a  sun-dial  of 
monumental  size. 

In  the  early  morning  the  light  streams  down  the 
canyon  from  the  east.  Certain  promontories  shoot 
miles  into  the  picture,  gleaming  in  vivid  color,  backed 
by  dark  shadows.  Certain  palaces  and  temples  stand 
in  magnificent  relief.  The  inner  gorge  is  brilliantly 
outlined  in  certain  places.  As  the  day  advances  these 


prominences  shift  positions;  some  fade;  some  disap 
pear;  still  others  spring  into  view. 

As  midday  approaches  the  shadows  fade;  the 
promontories  flatten;  the  towering  edifices  move 
bodily  backward  and  merge  themselves  in  the  opposite 
rim.  There  is  a  period  of  several  hours  when  the 
whole  canyon  has  become  a  solid  wall;  strata  fail  to 
match;  eye  and  mind  become  confused;  comprehen 
sion  is  baffled  by  the  tangle  of  disconnected  bands  of 
color;  the  watcher  is  distressed  by  an  oppressive  sense 
of  helplessness. 

It  is  when  afternoon  is  well  advanced  that  the 
magician  sun  begins  his  most  astonishing  miracles  in 
the  canyon's  depths.  Out  from  the  blazing  wall,  one 
by  one,  step  the  mighty  obelisks  and  palaces,  defined 
by  ever-changing  shadows.  Unsuspected  promonto 
ries  emerge,  undreamed-of  gulfs  sink  back  in  the  per 
spective.  The  serpentine  gorge  appears  here,  fades 
there,  seems  almost  to  move  in  the  slow-changing 
shadows.  I  shall  not  try  even  to  suggest  the  soul- 
uplifting  spectacle  which  culminates  in  sunset. 

Days  may  be  spent  upon  the  rim  in  many  forms 
of  pleasure;  short  camping  trips  may  be  made  to  dis 
tant  points. 

The  descent  into  the  canyon  is  usually  made  from 
El  Tovar  down  the  Bright  Angel  Trail,  so  called  be 
cause  it  faces  the  splendid  Bright  Angel  Canyon  of  the 
north  side,  and  by  the  newer  Hermit  Trail  which  starts 
a  few  miles  west.  There  are  trails  at  Grand  View, 
eight  miles  east,  and  at  Bass  Camp,  twenty-four  miles 


west  of  El  Tovar,  which  are  seldom  used  now.  All 
go  to  the  bottom  of  the  Granite  Gorge.  The  com 
monly  used  trails  may  be  travelled  afoot  by  those 
physically  able,  and  on  mule-back  by  any  person  of  any 
age  who  enjoys  ordinary  health.  The  Bright  Angel 
trip  returns  the  traveller  to  the  rim  at  day's  end.  The 
Hermit  Trail  trip  camps  him  overnight  on  the  floor  of 
the  canyon  at  the  base  of  a  magic  temple.  The  finest 
trip  of  all  takes  him  down  the  Hermit  Trail,  gives  him 
a  night  in  the  depths,  and  returns  him  to  the  rim  by  the 
Bright  Angel  Trail.  Powell  named  Bright  Angel  Creek 
during  that  memorable  first  passage  through  the  Can 
yon.  He  had  just  named  a  muddy  creek  Dirty  Devil, 
which  suggested,  by  contrast,  the  name  of  Bright 
Angel  for  a  stream  so  pure  and  sparkling. 

The  Havasupai  Indian  reservation  may  be  visited 
in  the  depths  of  Cataract  Canyon  by  following  the  trail 
from  Bass  Camp. 

The  first  experience  usually  noted  in  the  descent 
is  the  fine  quality  of  the  trail,  gentle  in  slope  and 
bordered  by  rock  on  the  steep  side.  The  next  experi 
ence  is  the  disappearance  of  the  straight  uncompro 
mising  horizon  of  the  opposite  rim,  which  is  a  distinc 
tive  feature  of  every  view  from  above.  As  soon  as  the 
descent  fairly  begins,  even  the  smaller  bluffs  and  prom 
ontories  assume  towering  proportions,  and,  from  the 
Tonto  floor,  the  mighty  elevations  of  Cheops,  Isis, 
Zoroaster,  Shiva,  Wotan,  and  the  countless  other 
temples  of  the  abyss  become  mountains  of  enormous 


From  the  river's  side  the  elevations  of  the  Granite 
Gorge  present  a  new  series  of  precipitous  towers,  back 
of  which  in  places  loom  the  tops  of  the  painted  palaces, 
and  back  of  them,  from  occasional  favored  view-spots, 
the  far-distant  rim.  Here,  and  here  only,  does  the 
Grand  Canyon  reveal  the  fulness  of  its  meaning. 


The  Grand  Canyon  was  discovered  in  1540  by 
El  Tovar,  one  of  the  captains  of  Cardenas,  in  charge 
of  one  of  the  expeditions  of  the  Spanish  explorer, 
Diaz,  who  was  hunting  for  seven  fabled  cities  of  vast 
wealth.  "They  reached  the  banks  of  a  river  which 
seemed  to  be  more  than  three  or  four  leagues  above 
the  stream  that  flowed  between  them."  It  was  seen 
in  1776  by  a  Spanish  priest  who  sought  a  crossing  and 
found  one  at  a  point  far  above  the  canyon;  this  still 
bears  the  name  Vado  de  los  Padres. 

By  1840  it  was  probably  known  to  the  trappers 
who  overran  the  country.  In  1850  Lieutenant  Whip- 
pie,  surveying  for  a  Pacific  route,  explored  the  Black 
Canyon  and  ascended  the  Grand  Canyon  to  Diamond 

In  1857  Lieutenant  Ives,  sent  by  the  War  Depart 
ment  to  test  the  navigability  of  the  Colorado,  ascended 
as  far  as  the  Virgin  River  in  a  steamboat  which  he  had 
shipped  in  pieces  from  Philadelphia.  From  there  he  en 
tered  the  Grand  Canyon  afoot,  climbed  to  the  rim,  and, 
making  a  detour,  encountered  the  river  again  higher 


up.  In  1867  James  White  was  picked  up  below  the 
Virgin  River  lashed  to  floating  logs.  He  said  that  his 
hunting-party  near  the  head  of  the  Colorado  River, 
attacked  by  Indians,  had  escaped  upon  a  raft.  This 
presently  broke  up  in  the  rapids  and  his  companions 
were  lost.  He  lashed  himself  to  the  wreckage  and  was 
washed  through  the  Grand  Canyon. 

About  this  time  Major  John  Wesley  Powell,  a 
school-teacher  who  had  lost  an  arm  in  the  Civil  War, 
determined  to  explore  the  great  canyons  of  the  Green 
and  Colorado  Rivers.  Besides  the  immense  benefit 
to  science,  the  expedition  promised  a  great  adventure. 
Many  lives  had  been  lost  in  these  canyons  and  wonder 
ful  were  the  tales  told  concerning  them.  Indians  re 
ported  that  huge  cataracts  were  hidden  in  their  depths 
and  that  in  one  place  the  river  swept  through  an  un 
derground  passage. 

Nevertheless,  with  the  financial  backing  of  the 
State  institutions  of  Illinois  and  the  Chicago  Academy 
of  Science,  Powell  got  together  a  party  of  ten  men 
with  four  open  boats,  provisions  for  ten  months,  and 
all  necessary  scientific  instruments.  He  started  above 
the  canyons  of  the  Green  River  on  May  24,  1869. 

There  are  many  canyons  on  the  Green  and  Colo 
rado  Rivers.  They  vary  in  length  from  eight  to  a 
hundred  and  fifty  miles,  with  walls  successively  rising 
from  thirteen  hundred  to  thirty-five  hundred  feet  in 
height.  The  climax  of  all,  the  Grand  Canyon,  is  two 
hundred  and  seventeen  miles  long,  with  walls  six 
thousand  feet  in  height. 


On  August  17,  when  Powell  and  his  adventurers 
reached  the  Grand  Canyon,  their  rations  had  been 
reduced  by  upsets  and  other  accidents  to  enough  musty 
flour  for  ten  days,  plenty  of  coffee,  and  a  few  dried, 
apples.  The  bacon  had  spoiled.  Most  of  the  scientific 
instruments  were  in  the  bottom  of  the  river.  One 
boat  was  destroyed.  The  men  were  wet  to  the  skin 
and  unable  to  make  a  fire.  In  this  plight  they  entered 
the  Grand  Canyon,  somewhere  in  whose  depths  a 
great  cataract  had  been  reported. 

The  story  of  the  passage  is  too  long  to  tell  here. 
Chilled,  hungry,  and  worn,  they  struggled  through  it. 
Often  they  were  obliged  to  let  their  boats  down  steep 
rapids  by  ropes,  and  clamber  after  them  along  the 
slippery  precipices.  Often  there  was  nothing  to  do 
but  to  climb  into  their  boats  and  run  down  long  foam 
ing  slants  around  the  corners  of  which  death,  perhaps, 
awaited.  Many  times  they  were  upset  and  barely 
escaped  with  their  lives.  With  no  wraps  or  clothing 
that  were  not  soaked  with  water,  there  were  nights 
when  they  could  not  sleep  for  the  cold. 

So  the  days  passed  and  the  food  lessened  to  a  few 
handfuls  of  wet  flour.  The  dangers  increased;  some 
falls  were  twenty  feet  in  height.  Finally  three  of  the 
men  determined  to  desert;  they  believed  they  could 
climb  the  walls  and  that  their  chances  would  be 
better  with  the  Indians  than  with  the  canyon.  Powell 
endeavored  to  dissuade  them,  but  they  were  firm. 
He  offered  to  divide  his  flour  with  them,  but  this  they 


These  men,  two  Rowlands,  brothers,  and  William 
Dunn,  climbed  the  canyon  walls  and  were  killed  by 
Indians.  Two  or  three  days  later  Powell  and  the  rest 
of  his  party  emerged  below  the  Grand  Canyon,  where 
they  found  food  and  safety. 

Taught  by  the  experience  of  this  great  adventure, 
Powell  made  a  second  trip  two  years  later  which  was 
a  scientific  achievement.  Later  on  he  became  Director 
of  the  United  States  Geological  Survey. 

Since  then,  the  passage  of  the  Grand  Canyon  has 
been  made  several  times.  R.  B.  Stanton  made  it  in 
1889  in  the  course  of  a  survey  for  a  proposed  railroad 
through  the  canyon;  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  party 
was  drowned. 

The  history  of  the  Grand  Canyon  has  been  in 
dustriously  collected.  It  remains  for  others  to  gather 
the  legends.  It  is  enough  here  to  quote  from  Powell 
the  Indian  story  of  its  origin. 

"Long  ago,"  he  writes,  "there  was  a  great  and 
wise  chief  who  mourned  the  death  of  his  wife,  and 
would  not  be  comforted  until  Tavwoats,  one  of  the 
Indian  gods,  came  to  him  and  told  him  his  wife  was  in 
a  happier  land,  and  offered  to  take  him  there  that  he 
might  see  for  himself,  if,  upon  his  return,  he  would  cease 
to  mourn.  The  great  chief  promised.  Then  Tav 
woats  made  a  trail  through  the  mountains  that  inter 
vene  between  that  beautiful  land,  the  balmy  region 
of  the  great  West,  and  this,  the  desert  home  of  the 


poor  Numa.  This  trail  was  the  canyon  gorge  of  the 
Colorado.  Through  it  he  led  him;  and  when  they 
had  returned  the  deity  exacted  from  the  chief  a  promise 
that  he  would  tell  no  one  of  the  trail.  Then  he  rolled 
a  river  into  the  gorge,  a  mad,  raging  stream,  that  should 
engulf  any  that  might  attempt  to  enter  thereby." 


The  bill  creating  the  Grand  Canyon  National 
Park  passed  Congress  early  in  1919,  and  was  signed 
by  President  Wilson  on  February  26.  This  closed 
an  intermittent  campaign  of  thirty-three  years,  be 
gun  by  President  Harrison,  then  senator  from  In 
diana,  in  January,  1886,  to  make  a  national  park  of 
the  most  stupendous  natural  spectacle  in  the  world. 
Politics,  private  interests,  and  the  deliberation  of 
governmental  procedure  were  the  causes  of  delay.  A 
self-evident  proposition  from  the  beginning,  it  illus 
trates  the  enormous  difficulties  which  confront  those 
who  labor  to  develop  our  national-parks  system.  The 
story  is  worth  the  telling. 

Senator  Harrison's  bill  of  1886  met  an  instant 
response  from  the  whole  nation.  It  called  for  a  na 
tional  park  fifty-six  miles  long  and  sixty-nine  miles 
wide.  There  was  opposition  from  Arizona  and  the 
bill  failed.  In  1893  the  Grand  Canyon  National  For 
est  was  created.  In  1898,  depredations  and  unlawful 
seizures  of  land  having  been  reported,  the  Secretary 
of  the  Interior  directed  the  Land-Office  to  prepare  a 


new  national-park  bill.  In  1899  the  Land-Office  re 
ported  that  the  bill  could  not  be  drawn  until  the  region 
was  surveyed.  It  took  the  Geological  Survey  five 
years  to  make  the  survey.  The  bill  was  not  prepared 
because  meantime  it  was  discovered  that  the  Atlantic 
and  Pacific  Railroad,  now  the  Santa  Fe,  owned  rights 
which  first  must  be  eliminated. 

Failing  to  become  a  national  park,  President  Roose 
velt  proclaimed  the  Grand  Canyon  a  national  monu 
ment  in  1908.  In  1909  a  bill  was  introduced  entitling 
Ralph  H.  Cameron  to  build  a  scenic  railway  along  the 
canyon  rim,  which  created  much  adverse  criticism 
and  failed.  In  1910  the  American  Scenic  and  His 
toric  Preservation  Society  proposed  a  bill  to  create 
the  Grand  Canyon  a  national  park  of  large  size.  The 
Geological  Survey,  to  which  it  was  referred,  recom 
mended  a  much  smaller  area.  By  the  direction  of 
President  Taft,  Senator  Flint  introduced  a  national- 
park  bill  which  differed  from  both  suggestions.  The 
opposition  of  grazing  interests  threw  it  into  the  hands 
of  conferees.  In  1911  Senator  Flint  introduced  the 
conferees'  bill,  but  it  was  opposed  by  private  interests 
and  failed. 

Meantime  the  country  became  aroused.  Patri 
otic  societies  petitioned  for  a  national  park,  and  the 
National  Federation  of  Women's  Clubs  began  an  agi 
tation.  The  Department  of  the  Interior  prepared  a 
map  upon  which  to  base  a  bill,  and  for  several  years 
negotiated  with  the  Forest  Service,  which  administered 
the  Grand  Canyon  as  a  national  monument,  concern- 


ing  boundaries.  Finally  the  boundaries  were  reduced 
to  little  more  than  the  actual  rim  of  the  canyon,  and 
a  bill  was  prepared  which  Senator  Ashurst  introduced 
in  February,  1917.  It  failed  in  committee  in  the 
House  owing  to  opposition  from  Arizona.  It  was  the 
same  bill,  again  introduced  by  Senator  Ashurst  in  the 
new  Congress  two  months  later,  which  finally  passed 
the  House  and  became  a  law  in  1919;  but  it  required 
a  favoring  resolution  by  the  Arizona  legislature  to 
pave  the  way. 

Meantime  many  schemes  were  launched  to  utilize 
the  Grand  Canyon  for  private  gain.  It  was  plastered 
thickly  with  mining  claims,  though  the  Geological 
Survey  showed  that  it  contained  no  minerals  worth 
mining;  mining  claims  helped  delay.  Schemers  sought 
capital  to  utilize  its  waters  for  power.  Railroads  were 
projected.  Plans  were  drawn  to  run  sightseeing  cars 
across  it  on  wire  cables.  These  were  the  interests, 
and  many  others,  which  opposed  the  national  park. 




WHEN,  in  the  seventies,  Major  J.  W.  Powell, 
the  daring  adventurer  of  the  Grand  Canyon, 
faced  Salt  Lake  City  on  his  return  from  one  of  his 
notable  geological  explorations  of  the  southwest,  he 
laid  his  course  by  a  temple  of  rock  "  lifting  its  opal 
escent  shoulders  against  the  eastern  sky."  His  party 
first  sighted  it  across  seventy  miles  of  a  desert  which 
"rose  in  a  series  of  Cyclopean  steps."  When,  climb 
ing  these,  they  had  seen  the  West  Temple  of  the  Virgin 
revealed  in  the  glory  of  vermilion  body  and  shining 
white  dome,  and  had  gazed  between  the  glowing  Gates 
of  Little  Zion  into  the  gorgeous  valley  within,  these 
scenery-sated  veterans  of  the  Grand  Canyon  and  the 
Painted  Desert  passed  homeward  profoundly  impressed 
and  planning  quick  return. 

No  wonder  that  Brigham  Young,  who  had  visited 
it  many  years  before  with  a  party  of  Mormons  seek 
ing  a  refuge  in  event  of  Indian  raids  or  of  exile  from 
their  Zion,  Salt  Lake  City,  had  looked  upon  its  glory 
as  prophetic,  and  named  it  Little  Zion. 

Geologists  found  the  spot  a  fruitful  field  of  study. 
They  found  it  also  a  masterpiece  of  desert  beauty. 



"Again  we  are  impressed  with  the  marvellous 
beauty  of  outline,  the  infinite  complication  of  these 
titanic  buttes,"  wrote  F.  S.  Dellenbaugh,  topographer 
of  the  Powell  party,  on  his  second  visit.  "It  is  doubt 
ful  if  in  this  respect  the  valley  has  its  equal.  Not 
even  the  Grand  Canyon  offers  a  more  varied  spectacle; 
yet  all  is  welded  together  in  a  superb  ensemble. " 

"Nothing  can  exceed  the  wondrous  beauty  of 
Little  Zion  Canyon,"  wrote  C.  E.  Button.  "In  its 
proportions  it  is  about  equal  to  Yosemite,  but  in  the 
nobility  and  beauty  of  its  sculptures  there  is  no  com 
parison.  It  is  Hyperion  to  a  Satyr.  No  wonder  the 
fierce  Mormon  zealot  who  named  it  was  reminded  of 
the  Great  Zion  on  which  his  fervid  thoughts  were 
bent,  of  'houses  not  built  with  hands,  eternal  in  the 

And  Doctor  G.  K.  Gilbert,  whose  intimate  study 
of  its  recesses  has  become  a  geological  classic,  declared 
it  "the  most  wonderful  defile"  that  it  had  been  even 
his  experienced  fortune  to  behold. 

Technical  literature  contains  other  outbursts  of 
enthusiastic  admiration,  some  of  eloquence,  hidden, 
however,  among  pages  so  incomprehensible  to  the 
average  lover  of  the  sublime  in  Nature  that  the  glory 
of  Little  Zion  was  lost  in  its  very  discovery.  So  remote 
did  it  lie  from  the  usual  lines  of  travel  and  traffic  that, 
though  its  importance  resulted  in  its  conservation  as  a 
national  monument  in  1909,  it  was  six  or  seven  years 
more  before  its  fame  as  a  spectacle  of  the  first  order 
began  to  get  about.  The  tales  of  adventurous  explor- 

Top  of  Plateau 


ers,  as  usual,  were  discounted.  It  was  not  until  agen 
cies  seeking  new  tourist  attractions  sent  parties  to 
verify  reports  that  the  public  gaze  was  centred  upon 
the  canyon's  supreme  loveliness. 

To  picture  Zion  one  must  recall  that  the  great 
plateau  in  which  the  Virgin 
River  has  sunk  these  can 
yons  was  once  enormously 
higher  than  now.  The  ero 
sion  of  hundreds  of  thou 
sands,  or,  if  you  please,  mil 
lions  of  years,  has  cut  down 
and  still  is  cutting  down  the 
plateau.  These  "  Cyclopean 
steps,"  each  step  the  thick 
ness  of  a  stratum  or  a  series 
of  strata  of  hardened  sands, 
mark  progressive  stages  in 
the  decomposition  of  the 

Little  Zion  Canyon  is  an 
early  stage  in  Nature's  pro 
cess  of  levelling  still  another 
sandstone  step,  that  is  all; 

this  one  fortunately  of  many  gorgeous  hues.  From 
the  top  of  this  layer  we  may  look  down  thousands 
of  vertical  feet  into  the  painted  canyon  whose  river 
still  is  sweeping  out  the  sands  that  Nature  chisels 
from  the  cliffs;  or  from  the  canyon's  bottom  we  may 
look  up  thousands  of  feet  to  the  cliffed  and  serrated 

Virgin  P. 


top  of  the  doomed  plateau.  These  ornate  precipices 
were  carved  by  trickling  water  and  tireless  winds. 
These  fluted  and  towered  temples  of  master  decoration 
were  disclosed  when  watery  chisels  cut  away  the  sands 
that  formerly  had  merged  them  with  the  ancient  rock, 
just  as  the  Lion  of  Lucerne  was  disclosed  for  the  joy 
of  the  world  when  Thorwaldsen's  chisel  chipped  away 
the  Alpine  rock  surrounding  its  unformed  image. 

The  colors  are  even  more  extraordinary  than  the 
forms.  The  celebrated  Vermilion  Cliff,  which  for 
more  than  a  hundred  miles  streaks  the  desert  landscape 
with  vivid  red,  here  combines  spectacularly  with  the 
White  Cliff,  another  famous  desert  feature — two  thou 
sand  feet  of  the  red  surmounted  by  a  thousand  feet  of 
the  white.  These  constitute  the  body  of  color. 

But  there  are  other  colors.  The  Vermilion  Cliff 
rests  upon  the  so-called  Painted  Desert  stratum,  three 
hundred  and  fifty  feet  of  a  more  insistent  red  relieved 
by  mauve  and  purple  shale.  That  in  turn  rests  upon 
a  hundred  feet  of  brown  conglomerate  streaked  with 
gray,  the  grave  of  reptiles  whose  bones  have  survived 
a  million  years  or  more.  And  that  rests  upon  the 
greens  and  grays  and  yellows  of  the  Belted  Shales. 

Nor  is  this  all,  for  far  in  the  air  above  the  wonder 
ful  White  Cliff  rise  in  places  six  hundred  feet  of  drab 
shales  and  chocolate  limestones  intermixed  with  crim 
sons  whose  escaping  dye  drips  in  broad  vertical  streaks 
across  the  glistening  white.  And  even  above  that,  in 
places,  lie  remnants  of  the  mottled,  many-colored  beds 
of  St.  Elmo  shales  and  limestones  in  whose  embrace, 


a  few  hundred  miles  away,  lie  embedded  the  bones  of 
many  monster  dinosaurs  of  ages  upon  ages  ago. 

Through  these  successive  layers  of  sands  and 
shales  and  limestones,  the  deposits  of  a  million  years 
of  earth's  evolution,  colored  like  a  Roman  sash,  glow 
ing  in  the  sun  like  a  rainbow,  the  Virgin  River  has  cut 
a  vertical  section,  and  out  of  its  sides  the  rains  of  cen 
turies  of  centuries  have  detached  monster  monoliths 
and  temples  of  marvellous  size  and  fantastic  shape, 
upon  whose  many-angled  surfaces  water  and  wind 
have  sculptured  ten  thousand  fanciful  designs  and 

The  way  in  to  this  desert  masterpiece  of  southern 
Utah  is  a  hundred  miles  of  progressive  preparation. 
From  railroad  to  canyon  there  is  not  an  unuseful  mile 
or  hour.  It  is  as  if  all  were  planned,  step  by  step,  to 
make  ready  the  mind  of  the  traveller  to  receive  the 
revelation  with  fullest  comprehension. 

To  one  approaching  who  does  not  know  the  desert, 
the  motion-picture  on  the  screen  of  the  car-window  is 
exciting  in  its  mystery.  These  vast  arid  bottom 
lands  of  prehistoric  Lake  Bonneville,  girded  by  moun 
tain  groups  and  ranges  as  arid  as  the  sands  from  which 
they  lift  their  tawny  sides,  provoke  suggestive  ques 
tions  of  the  past. 

In  this  receptive  mood  the  traveller  reaches  Lund 
and  an  automobile.  The  ride  to  Cedar  City,  where  he 
spends  the  night,  shows  him  the  sage-dotted  desert  at 
close  range.  His  horizon  is  one  of  bare,  rugged  moun 
tains.  In  front  of  him  rise  the  " Cyclopean  steps"  in 

jc;;    W^^j^^^K^i\ri 

s  s 

s  § 

i      c^"    "?>> 

.a  ^> 

•  •  \  -^a 



•  .•  -.;•    ^.^ys=^- '-^EL^-^&rS  .  V^^^r_:.L.. ;  ,    \ 

W  W 

ti  K 

a  H 


H  g 


long,  irregular,  deeply  indented  sweeps.  The  vivid 
Pink  Cliff,  which,  had  it  not  long  since  been  washed 
away  from  Little  Zion,  would  have  added  another  tier 
of  color  to  its  top,  here,  on  the  desert,  remains  a  dis 
tant  horizon.  The  road  climbs  Lake  Bonneville's 
southern  shore,  and,  at  Cedar  City,  reaches  the  glorified 

From  Cedar  City  to  the  canyon  one  sweeps  through 
Mormon  settlements  founded  more  than  sixty  years 
ago,  a  region  of  stream-watered  valleys  known  of  old 
as  Dixie.  The  road  is  part  of  the  Arrowhead  Trail, 
once  in  fact  a  historic  trail,  now  a  motor-highway 
between  Salt  Lake  and  Los  Angeles.  The  valleys 
bloom.  Pomegranates,  figs,  peaches,  apricots,  melons, 
walnuts,  and  almonds  reach  a  rare  perfection.  Cot 
ton,  which  Brigham  Young  started  here  as  an  experi 
ment  in  1861,  is  still  grown.  Lusty  cottonwood-trees 
line  the  banks  of  the  little  rivers.  Cedars  dot  the  val 
leys  and  cover  thickly  the  lower  hills.  And  everywhere, 
on  every  side,  the  arid  cliffs  close  in.  The  Pink  Cliff 
has  been  left  behind,  but  the  Vermilion  Cliff  constantly 
appears.  The  White  Cliff  enters  and  stays.  Long 
stretches  of  road  overlie  one  and  another  colored 
stratum;  presently  the  ground  is  prevailingly  red, 
with  here  and  there  reaches  of  mauve,  yellow,  green, 
and  pink. 

Cedar  City  proves  to  be  a  quaint,  straggling  Mor 
mon  village  with  a  touch  of  modern  enterprise;  south 
of  Cedar  City  the  villages  lack  the  enterprise.  The 
houses  are  of  a  gray  composition  resembling  adobe,  and 


many  of  them  are  half  a  century  old  and  more. 
Dilapidated  square  forts,  reminders  of  pioneer  strug 
gles  with  the  Indians,  are  seen  here  and  there.  Com 
pact  Mormon  churches  are  in  every  settlement,  how 
ever  small.  The  men  are  bearded,  coatless,  and  wear 
baggy  trousers,  suggestive  of  Holland.  Bronzed  and 
deliberate  women,  who  drive  teams  and  work  the  fields 
with  the  men,  wear  old-fashioned  sunbonnets.  Many 
of  these  people  have  never  seen  a  railroad-train.  News 
papers  are  scarce  and  long  past  date.  Here  Mor- 
monism  of  the  older  fashion  is  a  living  religion,  affect 
ing  the  routine  of  daily  life. 

Dixie  is  a  land  of  plenty,  but  it  is  a  foreign  land. 
It  is  reminiscent,  with  many  differences,  of  an  Algerian 
oasis.  The  traveller  is  immensely  interested.  Some 
how  these  strange  primitive  villages,  these  simple, 
earnest,  God-fearing  people,  merge  into  unreality  with 
the  desert,  the  sage-dotted  mountains,  the  cedar- 
covered  slopes,  the  blooming  valleys,  the  colored  sands, 
and  the  vivid  cliffs. 

Through  Bellevue,  Toquerville,  the  ruins  of  Vir 
gin  City,  Rockville,  and  finally  to  Springdale  winds 
the  road.  Meantime  the  traveller  has  speeded  south 
under  the  Hurricane  Cliff,  which  is  the  ragged  edge 
left  when  all  the  land  west  of  it  sank  two  thousand  feet 
during  some  geologic  time  long  past.  He  reaches  the 
Virgin  River  where  it  emerges  from  the  great  cliffs  in 
whose  recesses  it  is  born,  and  whence  it  carries  in  its 
broad  muddy  surge  the  products  of  their  steady  dis 


From  here  on,  swinging  easterly  up-stream,  sen 
sation  hastens  to  its  climax.  Here  the  Hurricane 
Cliff  sends  aloft  an  impressive  butte  painted  in  slanting 
colors  and  capped  with  black  basalt.  Farther  on  a 
rugged  promontory  striped  with  vivid  tints  pushes  out 
from  the  southern  wall  nearly  to  the  river's  brink. 
The  cliffs  on  both  sides  of  the  river  are  carved  from 
the  stratum  which  geologists  call  the  Belted  Shales. 
Greenish-grays,  brownish-yellows,  many  shades  of 
bright  red,  are  prominent;  it  is  hard  to  name  a  color 
or  shade  which  is  not  represented  in  its  horizontal 
bands.  "The  eye  tires  and  the  mind  flags  in  their 
presence,"  writes  Professor  Willis  T.  Lee.  "To  try  to 
realize  in  an  hour's  time  the  beauty  and  variety  of  detail 
here  presented  is  as  useless  as  to  try  to  grasp  the 
thoughts  expressed  in  whole  rows  of  volumes  by  walk 
ing  through  a  library." 

Far  up  the  canyon  which  North  Creek  pushes 
through  this  banded  cliff,  two  towering  cones  of  glis 
tening  white  are  well  named  Guardian  Angels — of  the 
stream  which  roars  between  their  feet.  Eagle  Crag, 
which  Moran  painted,  looms  into  view.  On  the  south 
appears  the  majestic  massing  of  needle-pointed  towers 
which  Powell  named  the  Pinnacles  of  the  Virgin. 
The  spectacular  confuses  with  its  brilliant  variations. 

At  the  confluence  of  the  Virgin  River  and  its 
North  Fork,  known  of  old  as  the  Parunuweap  and  the 
Mukuntuweap,  the  road  sweeps  northward  up  the 
Mukuntuweap.  There  have  been  differing  reports  of 
the  meaning  of  this  word,  which  gave  the  original  name 


to  the  national  monument.  It  has  been  popularly  ac 
cepted  as  meaning  "Land  of  God, "  but  John  R.  Wallis, 
of  St.  George,  Utah,  has  traced  it  to  its  original  Indian 
source.  Mukuntuweap,  he  writes,  means  "Land  of  the 
Springs,"  and  Parunuweap  "Land  of  the  Birds." 

Reaching  Springdale,  at  the  base  of  the  Vermilion 
Cliff,  the  traveller  looks  up-stream  to  the  valley  mouth 
through  which  the  river  emerges  from  the  cliffs,  and 
a  spectacle  without  parallel  meets  his  eye.  Left  of  the 
gorgeous  entrance  rises  the  unbelievable  West  Temple 
of  the  Virgin,  and,  merging  with  it  from  behind,  loom 
the  lofty  Towers  of  the  Virgin.  Opposite  these,  and 
back  from  the  canyon's  eastern  brink,  rises  the  loftier 
and  even  more  majestic  East  Temple  of  the  Virgin. 
Between  them  he  sees  a  perspective  of  red  and  white 
walls,  domes,  and  uinnacles  which  thrills  him  with 

And  so,  fully  prepared  in  mind  and  spirit,  awed 
and  exultant,  he  enters  Zion. 

Few  natural  objects  which  have  been  described 
so  seldom  have  provoked  such  extravagant  praise  as 
the  West  Temple.  It  is  seen  from  a  foreground  of 
gliding  river,  cotton-wood  groves,  and  talus  slopes 
dotted  with  manzanita,  sage,  cedars,  and  blooming 
cactus.  From  a  stairway  of  mingled  yellows,  reds, 
grays,  mauves,  purples,  and  chocolate  brown,  it  springs 
abruptly  four  thousand  feet.  Its  body  is  a  brilliant 
red.  Its  upper  third  is  white.  It  has  the  mass  and 
proportions,  the  dignity  and  grandeur,  of  a  cathedral. 
It  is  supremely  difficult  to  realize  that  it  was  not  de- 


signed,  so  true  to  human  conception  are  the  upright 
form  and  mass  of  its  central  structure,  the  proportion 
ing  and  modelling  of  its  extensive  wings  and  buttresses. 
On  top  of  the  lofty  central  rectangle  rests,  above  its 
glistening  white,  a  low  squared  cap  of  deepest  red. 
It  is  a  temple  in  the  full  as  well  as  the  noblest  sense  of 
the  word. 

The  East  Temple,  which  rises  directly  opposite 
and  two  miles  back  from  the  rim,  is  a  fitting  companion. 
It  is  a  thousand  feet  higher.  Its  central  structure  is  a 
steep  truncated  cone  capped  like  the  West  Temple. 
Its  wings  are  separated  half-way  down,  one  an  elon 
gated  pyramid  and  the  other  a  true  cone,  both  of  mag 
nificent  size  and  bulk  but  truly  proportioned  to  the 
central  mass.  Phrase  does  not  convey  the  suggestion 
of  architectural  calculation  in  both  of  these  stupen 
dous  monuments.  One  can  easily  believe  that  the  Mor 
mon  prophet  in  naming  them  saw  them  the  designed 
creations  of  a  personal  deity. 

A  more  definite  conception  of  Nature's  gigantic 
processes  follows  upon  realization  that  these  lofty 
structures  once  joined  across  the  canyon,  stratum  for 
stratum,  color  for  color.  The  rock  that  joined  them, 
disintegrated  by  the  frosts  and  rains,  has  passed  down 
the  muddy  current  of  the  Virgin,  down  the  surging 
tide  of  the  Colorado,  through  the  Grand  Canyon,  and 
into  the  Pacific.  Some  part  of  these  sands  doubtless 
helped  to  build  the  peninsula  of  Lower  California. 

Passing  the  gates  the  traveller  stands  in  a  trench 
of  nearly  perpendicular  sides  more  than  half  a  mile 


deep,  half  a  mile  wide  at  the  bottom,  a  mile  wide  from 
crest  to  crest.  The  proportions  and  measurements 
suggest  Yosemite,  but  there  is  little  else  in  common. 
These  walls  blaze  with  color.  On  the  west  the  Streaked 
Wall,  carved  from  the  White  Cliff,  is  stained  with  the 
drip  from  the  red  and  drab  and  chocolate  shales  and 
limestones  not  yet  wholly  washed  from  its  top.  It  is 
a  vivid  thing,  wonderfully  eroded.  Opposite  is  the 
Brown  Wall,  rich  in  hue,  supporting  three  stupendous 
structures  of  gorgeous  color,  two  of  which  are  known 
as  the  Mountain  of  the  Sun  and  the  Watchman.  To 
gether  they  are  the  Sentinels.  Passing  these  across  a 
plaza  apparently  broadened  for  their  better  presenta 
tion  rise  on  the  west  the  Three  Patriarchs,  Yosemite- 
like  in  form,  height,  and  bulk,  but  not  in  personality 
or  color.  The  brilliance  of  this  wonder-spot  passes 

Here  the  canyon  contracts,  and  we  come  to  the 
comfortable  hotel-camp,  terminal  of  the  automobile 
journey.  It  is  on  the  river  side  in  a  shady  alcove  of 
the  east  wall  near  a  spring.  Here  horses  may  be  had 
for  exploration. 

A  mile  above  the  camp  stands  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  monoliths  of  the  region.  El  Gobernador 
is  a  colossal  truncated  dome,  red  below  and  white 
above.  The  white  crown  is  heavily  marked  in  two 
directions,  suggesting  the  web  and  woof  of  drapery. 
Directly  opposite,  a  lesser  monolith,  nevertheless  gi 
gantic,  is  suggestively  if  sentimentally  called  Angel's 
Landing.  A  natural  bridge  which  is  still  in  Nature's 

From  a  photograph  by  Douglas  White 


Three  thousand  feet  high;  the  lower  two  thousand  feet  is  a  brilliant  red.  the  upper  thousand 

feet  is  white 


workshop  is  one  of  the  Interesting  spectacles  of  this 
vicinity.  Its  splendid  arch  is  fully  formed,  but  the 
wall  against  which  it  rests  its  full  length  remains, 
broken  through  in  one  spot  only.  How  many  thou 
sands  or  hundreds  of  thousands  of  years  will  be  re 
quired  to  wipe  away  the  wall  and  leave  the  bridge 
complete  is  for  those  to  guess  who  will. 

Here  also  is  the  valley  end  of  a  wire  cable  which 
passes  upward  twenty-five  hundred  feet  to  cross  a 
break  in  the  wall  to  a  forest  on  the  mesa's  top.  Lum 
ber  is  Dixie's  most  hardly  furnished  need.  For  years 
sawn  timbers  have  been  cabled  down  into  the  valley 
and  carted  to  the  villages  of  the  Virgin  River. 

In  some  respects  the  most  fascinating  part  of 
Little  Zion  is  still  beyond.  A  mile  above  El  Gober- 
nador  the  river  swings  sharply  west  and  doubles  on 
itself.  Raspberry  Bend  is  far  nobler  than  its  name 
implies,  and  the  Great  Organ  which  the  river  here  en 
circles  exacts  no  imaginative  effort.  Beyond  this  the 
canyon  narrows  rapidly.  The  road  has  long  since 
stopped,  and  soon  the  trail  stops.  Presently  the  river, 
now  a  shrunken  stream,  concealing  occasional  quick 
sands,  offers  the  only  footing.  The  walls  are  no  less 
lofty,  no  less  richly  colored,  and  the  weary  traveller 
works  his  difficult  way  forward. 

There  will  come  a  time  if  he  persists  when  he  may 
stand  at  the  bottom  of  a  chasm  more  than  two  thou 
sand  feet  deep  and,  nearly  touching  the  walls  on  either 
side,  look  up  and  see  no  sky. 

"At  the  water's  edge  the  walls  are  perpendicular," 


writes  Doctor  G.  K.  Gilbert,  of  the  U.  S.  Geological 
Survey,  who  first  described  it,  "but  in  the  deeper  parts 
they  open  out  toward  the  top.  As  we  entered  and 
found  our  outlook  of  sky  contracted — as  we  had  never 
before  seen  it  between  canyon  cliffs — I  measured  the 
aperture  above,  and  found  it  thirty-five  degrees.  We 
had  thought  this  a  minimum,  but  soon  discovered  our 
error.  Nearer  and  nearer  the  walls  approached,  and 
our  strip  of  blue  narrowed  down  to  twenty  degrees, 
then  ten,  and  at  last  was  even  intercepted  .by  the 
overhanging  rocks.  There  was,  perhaps,  no  point 
from  which,  neither  forward  nor  backward,  could  we 
discover  a  patch  of  sky,  but  many  times  our  upward 
view  was  completely  cut  off  by  the  interlocking  of  the 
walls,  which,  remaining  nearly  parallel  to  each  other, 
warped  in  and  out  as  they  ascended." 

Here  he  surprises  the  secret  of  the  making  of  Zion. 

"As  a  monument  of  denudation,  this  chasm  is  an 
example  of  downward  erosion  by  sand-bearing  water. 
The  principle  on  which  the  cutting  depends  is  almost 
identical  with  that  of  the  marble  saw,  but  the  sand 
grains,  instead  of  being  embedded  in  rigid  iron,  are 
carried  by  a  flexible  stream  of  water.  By  gravity  they 
have  been  held  against  the  bottom  of  the  cut,  so  that 
they  should  make  it  vertical,  but  the  current  has  car 
ried  them,  in  places,  against  one  side  or  the  other, 
and  so  far  modified  the  influence  of  gravity  that  the 
cut  undulates  somewhat  in  its  vertical  section,  as  well 
as  in  its  horizon tal." 

This,  then,  is  how  Nature  began,  on  the  original 

From  a  photograph  by  the  U.  S.  Geological  Survey 



These  red-and-white  structures  rise  more  than  two  thousand  feet  above  the  canyon  floor 


surface  of  the  plateau,  perhaps  with  the  output  of  a 
spring  shower,  to  dig  this  whole  mighty  spectacle  for 
our  enjoyment  to-day.  We  may  go  further.  We  may 
imagine  the  beginning  of  the  titanic  process  that  dug 
the  millions  of  millions  of  chasms,  big  and  little,  con 
tributing  to  the  mighty  Colorado,  that  dug  the  Grand 
Canyon  itself,  that  reduced  to  the  glorified  thing  it  now 
is  the  enormous  plateau  of  our  great  southwest,  which 
would  have  been  many  thousands  of  feet  higher 
than  the  highest  pinnacle  of  Little  Zion  had  not  erosion 
more  than  counteracted  the  uplifting  of  the  plateau. 

Little  else  need  be  said  to  complete  this  picture. 
The  rains  and  melting  snows  of  early  spring  produce 
mesa- top  torrents  which  pour  into  the  valley  and  hasten 
for  a  period  the  processes  of  decorating  the  walls  and 
levelling  the  plateau.  So  it  happens  that  waterfalls 
of  power  and  beauty  then  enrich  this  wondrous  spec 
tacle.  But  this  added  beauty  is  not  for  the  tourist, 
who  may  come  in  comfort  only  after  its  disappearance. 

But  springs  are  many.  Trickling  from  various 
levels  in  the  walls,  they  develop  new  tributary  gorges. 
Gushing  from  the  foundations,  they  create  alcoves  and 
grottos  which  are  in  sharp  contrast  with  their  desert 
environment,  enriching  by  dampness  the  colors  of  the 
sandstone  and  decorating  these  refreshment-places 
with  trailing  ferns  and  flowering  growths.  In  these 
we  see  the  origin  of  the  Indian  name,  Mukuntuweap, 
Land  of  the  Springs. 

The  Indians,  however,  always  stood  in  awe  of 
Little  Zion.  They  entered  it,  but  feared  the  night. 


In  1918  President  Wilson  changed  the  name  from 
Mukuntuweap  to  Zion.  At  the  same  time  he  greatly 
enlarged  the  reservation.  Zion  National  Monument 
now  includes  a  large  area  of  great  and  varied  desert 
magnificence,  including  the  sources  and  canyons  of 
two  other  streams  besides  Mukuntuweap. 


ELEVEN  national  monuments  in  the  States  of 
Arizona,  New  Mexico,  and  Colorado  illustrate 
the  history  of  our  southwest  from  the  times  when  pre 
historic  man  dwelt  in  caves  hollowed  in  desert  preci 
pices  down  through  the  Spanish  fathers'  centuries  of 
self-sacrifice  and  the  Spanish  explorers'  romantic  search 
for  the  Quivira  and  the  Seven  Cities  of  Cibola. 

The  most  striking  feature  of  the  absorbing  story 
of  the  Spanish  occupation  is  its  twofold  inspiration. 
Hand  in  hand  the  priest  and  the  soldier  boldly  invaded 
the  desert.  The  passion  of  the  priest  was  the  saving 
of  souls,  and  the  motive  of  the  soldier  was  the  greed 
of  gold.  The  priest  deprecated  the  soldier;  the  soldier 
despised  the  priest.  Each  used  the  other  for  the 
realization  of  his  own  purposes.  The  zealous  priest, 
imposing  his  religion  upon  the  shrinking  Indian,  did 
not  hesitate  to  invoke  the  soldier's  aid  for  so  holy  a 
purpose;  the  soldier  used  the  gentle  priest  to  cloak 
the  greedy  business  of  wringing  wealth  from  the  frugal 
native.  Together,  they  hastened  civilization. 

Glancing  for  a  moment  still  further  back,  the 
rapacious  hordes  already  had  gutted  the  rich  stores  of 
Central  America  and  the  northern  regions  of  South 
America.  The  rush  of  the  lustful  conqueror  was  as- 



tonishingly  swift.  Columbus  himself  was  as  eager 
for  gold  as  he  was  zealous  for  religion.  From  the  dis 
covery  of  America  scarcely  twenty  years  elapsed  be 
fore  Spanish  armies  were  violently  plundering  the 
Caribbean  Islands,  ruthlessly  subjugating  Mexico, 
overrunning  Venezuela,  and  eagerly  seeking  tidings  of 
the  reputed  wealth  of  Peru.  The  air  was  supercharged 
with  reports  of  treasure,  and  no  reports  were  too  wild 
for  belief;  myths,  big  and  little,  ran  amuck.  El 
Dorado,  the  gilded  man  of  rumor,  became  the  dream, 
then  the  belief,  of  the  times;  presently  a  whole  nation 
was  conceived  clothed  in  dusted  gold.  The  myth  of 
the  Seven  Cities  of  Cibola,  each  a  city  of  vast  treasure, 
the  growth  of  years  of  rumor,  seems  to  have  perfected 
itself  back  home  in  Spain.  The  twice-born  myth  of 
Quivira,  city  of  gold,  which  cost  thousands  of  lives  and 
hundreds  of  thousands  of  Spanish  ducats,  lives  even 
to-day  in  remote  neighborhoods  of  the  southwest. 

Pizarro  conquered  Peru  ini526;  by  153  5,  with  the 
south  looted,  Spanish  eyes  looked  longingly  north 
ward.  In  1539  Fray  Marcos,  a  Franciscan,  made  a 
reconnaissance  from  the  Spanish  settlements  of  Sonora 
into  Arizona  with  the  particular  purpose  of  locating 
the  seven  cities.  The  following  year  Coronado,  at  his 
own  expense,  made  the  most  romantic  exploration  in 
human  history.  Spanish  expectation  may  be  mea 
sured  by  the  cost  of  this  and  its  accompanying  expedi 
tion  by  sea  to  the  Gulf  of  California,  the  combined 
equipment  totalling  a  quarter  million  dollars  of  Ameri 
can  money  of  to-day.  Coronado  took  two  hundred  and 


sixty  horsemen,  sixty  foot-soldiers,  and  more  than  a 
thousand  Indians.  Besides  his  pack-animals  he  led  a 
thousand  spare  horses  to  carry  home  the  loot. 

He  sought  the  seven  cities  in  Arizona  and  New 
Mexico,  and  found  the  pueblo  of  Zuni,  prosperous  but 
lacking  its  expected  hoard  of  gold;  he  crossed  Colorado 
in  search  of  Quivira  and  found  it  in  Kansas,  a  wretched 
habitation  of  a  shiftless  tribe;  their  houses  straw,  he 
reported,  their  clothes  the  hides  of  cows,  meaning 
bison.  He  entered  Nebraska  in  search  of  the  broad 
river  whose  shores  were  lined  with  gold — the  identical 
year,  curiously,  in  which  De  Soto  discovered  the  Missis 
sippi.  Many  were  the  pueblos  he  visited  and  many 
his  adventures  and  perils;  but  the  only  treasure  he 
brought  back  was  his  record  of  exploration. 

This  was  the  first  of  more  than  two  centuries  of 
Spanish  expeditions.  Fifty  years  after  Coronado,  the 
myth  of  Quivira  was  born  again ;  thereafter  it  wandered 
homeless,  the  inspiration  of  constant  search,  and  final 
ly  settled  in  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  pueblo  of  Tabira, 
or,  as  Bandelier  has  it,  Teypana,  New  Mexico;  the 
myth  of  the  seven  cities  never  wholly  perished. 

It  is  not  my  purpose  to  follow  the  fascinating  for 
tunes  of  Spanish  proselyting  and  conquest.  I  merely 
set  the  stage  for  the  tableaux  of  the  national  monu 


The  Spaniards  found  our  semiarid  southwest 
dotted  thinly  with  the  pueblos  and  its  canyons  hung 
with  the  cliff-dwellings  of  a  large  and  fairly  prosperous 
population  of  peace-loving  Indians,  who  hunted  the 
deer  and  the  antelope,  fished  the  rivers,  and  dry- 
farmed  the  mesas  and  valleys.  Not  so  advanced  in 
the  arts  of  civilization  as  the  people  of  the  Mesa  Verde, 
in  Colorado,  nevertheless  their  sense  of  form  was  pat 
ent  in  their  architecture,  and  their  family  life,  govern 
ment,  and  religion  were  highly  organized.  They  were 
worshippers  of  the  sun.  Each  pueblo  and  outlying 
village  was  a  political  unit. 

Let  us  first  consider  those  national  monuments 
which  touch  intimately  the  Spanish  occupation. 


Eighty  miles  southeast  of  Albuquerque,  in  the 
hollow  of  towering  desert  ranges,  lies  the  arid  country 
which  Indian  tradition  calls  the  Accursed  Lakes. 
Here,  at  the  points  of  a  large  triangle,  sprawl  the  ruins 
of  three  once  flourishing  pueblo  cities,  Abo,  Cuaray, 
and  Tabira.  Once,  says  tradition,  streams  flowed  into 
lakes  inhabited  by  great  fish,  and  the  valleys  bloomed; 
it  was  an  unfaithful  wife  who  brought  down  the  curse 
of  God. 

When  the  Spaniards  came  these  cities  were  at  the 
flood-tide  of  prosperity.  Their  combined  population 


was  large.  Tabira  was  chosen  as  the  site  of  the  mis 
sion  whose  priests  should  trudge  the  long  desert  trails 
and  minister  to  all. 

Undoubtedly,  it  was  one  of  the  most  important  of 
the  early  Spanish  missions.  The  greater  of  the  two 
churches  was  built  of  limestone,  its  outer  walls  six  feet 
thick.  It  was  a  hundred  and  forty  feet  long  and 
forty-eight  feet  wide.  The  present  height  of  the  walls 
is  twenty-five  feet. 

The  ancient  community  building  adjoining  the 
church,  the  main  pueblo  of  Tabira,  has  the  outlines 
which  are  common  to  the  prehistoric  pueblos  of  the  en 
tire  southwest  and  persist  in  general  features  in  mod 
ern  Indian  architecture.  The  rooms  are  twelve  to 
fifteen  feet  square,  with  ceilings  eight  or  ten  feet  high. 
Doors  connect  the  rooms,  and  the  stories,  of  which 
there  are  three,  are  connected  by  ladders  through  trap 
doors.  It  probably  held  a  population  of  fifteen  hun 
dred.  The  pueblo  has  well  stood  the  rack  of  time; 
the  lesser  buildings  outside  it  have  been  reduced  to 

The  people  who  built  and  inhabited  these  cities  of 
the  Accursed  Lakes  were  of  the  now  extinct  Piro  stock. 
The  towns  were  discovered  in  1581  by  Francisco 
Banchez  de  Chamuscado.  The  first  priest  assigned  to 
the  field  was  Fray  Francisco  de  San  Miguel,  this  in 
1 598.  The  mission  of  Tabira  was  founded  by  Francisco 
de  Acevedo  about  1628.  The  smaller  church  was 
built  then;  the  great  church  was  built  in  1644,  but 
was  never  fully  finished.  Between  1670  and  1675  a^ 


three  native  cities  and  their  Spanish  churches  were 
wiped  out  by  Apaches. 

Charles  F.  Lummis,  from  whom  some  of  these 
historical  facts  are  quoted,  has  been  at  great  pains  to 
trace  the  wanderings  of  the  Quivira  myth.  Bandelier 
mentions  an  ancient  New  Mexican  Indian  called  Tio 
Juan  Largo,  who  told  a  Spanish  explorer  about  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  that  Quivira  was 
Tabira.  Otherwise  history  is  silent  concerning  the 
process  by  which  the  myth  finally  settled  upon  that 
historic  city,  far  indeed  from  its  authentic  home  in 
what  now  is  Kansas.  The  fact  stands,  however,  that 
as  late  as  the  latter  hah"  of  the  eighteenth  century  the 
name  Tabira  appeared  on  the  official  map  of  New  Mex 
ico.  When  and  how  this  name  was  lost  and  the 
famous  ruined  city  with  its  Spanish  churches  accepted 
as  Gran  Quivira  perhaps  never  will  be  definitely  known. 

"  Mid-ocean  is  not  more  lonesome  than  the  plains, 
nor  night  so  gloomy  as  that  dumb  sunlight,"  wrote 
Lummis  in  1893,  approaching  the  Gran  Quivira  across 
the  desert.  "The  brown  grass  is  knee-deep,  and  even 
this  shock  gives  a  surprise  in  this  hoof -obliterated  land. 
The  bands  of  antelope  that  drift,  like  cloud  shadows, 
across  the  dun  landscape  suggest  less  of  life  than  of  the 
supernatural.  The  spell  of  the  plains  is  a  wondrous 
thing.  At  first  it  fascinates.  Then  it  bewilders.  At 
last  it  crushes.  It  is  intangible  but  resistless;  strong 
er  than  hope,  reason,  will — stronger  than  humanity. 
When  one  cannot  otherwise  escape  the  plains,  one 
takes  refuge  in  madness." 


This  is  the  setting  of  the  "ghost  city"  of  "ashen 
hues,"  that  "wraith  in  pallid  stone,"  the  Gran  Quivira. 


Due  west  from  Albuquerque,  New  Mexico,  not 
far  from  the  Arizona  boundary,  El  Morro  National 
Monument  conserves  a  mesa  end  of  striking  beauty 
upon  whose  cliffs  are  graven  many  inscriptions  cut  in 
passing  by  the  Spanish  and  American  explorers  of 
more  than  two  centuries.  It  is  a  historical  record  of 
unique  value,  the  only  extant  memoranda  of  several 
expeditions,  an  invaluable  detail  in  the  history  of  many. 
It  has  helped  trace  obscure  courses  and  has  established 
important  departures.  To  the  tourist  it  brings  home, 
as  nothing  else  can,  the  realization  of  these  grim  ro 
mances  of  other  days. 

El  Morro,  the  castle,  is  also  called  Inscription 
Rock.  West  of  its  steepled  front,  in  the  angle  of  a 
sharp  bend  in  the  mesa,  is  a  large  partly  enclosed 
natural  chamber,  a  refuge  in  storm.  A  spring  here 
betrays  the  reason  for  El  Morro's  popularity  among 
the  explorers  of  a  semidesert  region.  The  old  Zuni 
trail  bent  from  its  course  to  touch  this  spring.  In 
scriptions  are  also  found  near  the  spring  and  on  the 
outer  side  of  the  mesa  facing  the  Zuni  Road. 

For  those  acquainted  with  the  story  of  Spanish 
exploration  this  national  monument  will  have  unique 
interest.  To  all  it  imparts  a  fascinating  sense  of  the 
romance  of  those  early  days  with  which  the  large  body 
of  Americans  have  yet  to  become  familiar.  The  pop- 


ular  story  of  this  romantic  period  of  American  history, 
its  poetry  and  its  fiction  remain  to  be  written. 

The  oldest  inscription  is  dated  February  18,  1526. 
The  name  of  Juan  de  Onate,  later  founder  of  Santa 
Fe,  is  there  under  date  of  1606,  the  year  of  his  visit 
to  the  mouth  of  the  Colorado  River.  One  of  the 
latest  Spanish  inscriptions  is  that  of  Don  Diego  de 
Vargas,  who  in  1692  reconquered  the  Indians  who  re 
belled  against  Spanish  authority  in  1680. 

The  reservation  also  includes  several  important 
community  houses  of  great  antiquity,  one  of  which 
perches  safely  upon  the  very  top  of  El  Morro  rock. 


In  the  far  south  of  Arizona  not  many  miles  north 
of  the  boundary  of  Sonora,  there  stands,  near  the  Gila 
River,  the  noble  ruin  which  the  Spaniards  call  Casa 
Grande,  or  Great  House.  It  was  a  building  of  large 
size  situated  in  a  compound  of  outlying  buildings  en 
closed  in  a  rectangular  wall;  no  less  than  three  other 
similar  compounds  and  four  detached  clan  houses 
once  stood  in  the  near  neighborhood.  Evidently,  in 
prehistoric  days,  this  was  an  important  centre  of  popu 
lation;  remains  of  an  irrigation  system  are  still  visible. 

The  builders  of  these  prosperous  communal  dwell 
ings  were  probably  Pima  Indians.  The  Indians  living 
in  the  neighborhood  to-day  have  traditions  indicated 
by  their  own  names  for  the  Casa  Grande,  the  Old 
House  of  the  Chief  and  the  Old  House  of  Chief  Morn 
ing  Green.  "The  Pima  word  for  green  and  blue  is  the 



The  holes  worn  by  erosion  have  been  enlarged  for  doors  and  windows 


same,"  Doctor  Fewkes  writes  me.  "  Russell  trans 
lates  the  old  chief's  name  Morning  Blue,  which  is  the 
same  as  my  Morning  Green.  I  have  no  doubt  Morn 
ing  Glow  is  also  correct,  no  doubt  nearer  the  Indian 
idea  which  refers  to  sun-god.  This  chief  was  the  son 
of  the  Sun  by  a  maid,  as  was  also  Tcuhu-Montezuma, 
a  sun-god  who,  legends  say,  built  Casa  Grande." 

Whatever  its  origin,  the  community  was  already 
in  ruins  when  the  Spaniards  first  found  it.  Kino  iden 
tified  it  as  the  ruin  which  Fray  Marcos  saw  in  1539 
and  called  Chichilticalli,  and  which  Coronado  passed 
in  1540.  The  early  Spanish  historians  believed  it  an 
ancestral  settlement  of  the  Aztecs. 

Its  formal  discovery  followed  a  century  and  a  half 
later.  Domingo  Jironza  Petriz  de  Cruzate,  governor 
of  Sonora,  had  directed  his  nephew,  Lieutenant  Juan 
Mateo  Mange,  to  conduct  a  group  of  missionaries  into 
the  desert,  where  Mange  heard  rumors  from  the  natives 
of  a  fine  group  of  ruins  on  the  banks  of  a  river  which 
flowed  west.  He  reported  this  to  Father  Eusebio 
Francisco  Kino,  the  fearless  and  famous  Jesuit  mis 
sionary  among  the  Indians  from  1687  to  1711;  in  No 
vember,  1694,  Kino  searched  for  the  ruins,  found  them, 
and  said  mass  within  the  walls  of  the  Casa  Grande. 

This  splendid  ruin  is  built  of  a  natural  concrete 
called  culeche.  The  external  walls  are  rough,  but  are 
smoothly  plastered  within,  showing  the  marks  of  hu 
man  hands.  Two  pairs  of  small  holes  in  the  walls 
opposite  others  in  the  central  room  have  occasioned 
much  speculation.  Two  look  east  and  west;  the  others, 


also  on  opposite  walls,  look  north  and  south.  Some 
persons  conjecture  that  observations  were  made  through 
them  of  the  solstices,  and  perhaps  of  some  star,  to 
establish  the  seasons  for  these  primitive  people.  "The 
foundation  for  this  unwarranted  hypothesis,"  Doctor 
Fewkes  writes,  "is  probably  a  statement  in  a  manu 
script  by  Father  Font  in  1775,  that  the  'Prince,' 
'chief  of  Casa  Grande,  looked  through  openings  in 
the  east  and  west  walls  'on  the  sun  as  it  rose  and  set, 
to  salute  it.J  The  openings  should  not  be  confused 
with  smaller  holes  made  in  the  walls  for  placing  iron 
rods  to  support  the  walls  by  contractors  when  the  ruin 
was  repaired." 


One  of  the  best-preserved  ruins  of  one  of  the  finest 
missions  which  Spanish  priests  established  in  the  des 
ert  of  the  extreme  south  of  Arizona  is  protected  under 
the  name  of  the  Tumacacori  National  Monument.  It 
is  fifty-seven  miles  south  of  Tucson,  near  the  Mexican 
border.  The  outlying  country  probably  possessed  a 
large  native  population. 

The  ruins  are  most  impressive,  consisting  of  the 
walls  and  tower  of  an  old  church  building,  the  walls 
of  a  mortuary  chapel  at  the  north  end  of  the  church, 
and  a  surrounding  court  with  adobe  walls  six  feet  high. 
These,  like  all  the  Spanish  missions,  were  built  by  In 
dian  converts  cinder  the  direction  of  priests,  for  the 
Spanish  invaders  performed  no  manual  labor.  The 
walls  of  the  church  are  six  feet  thick  and  plastered 

From  a  photograph  by  T.  H.  Bate 



within.  The  belfry  and  the  altar-dome  are  of  burned 
brick,  the  only  example  of  brick  construction  among 
the  early  Spanish  missions.  There  is  a  fine  arched 

For  many  reasons,  this  splendid  church  is  well 
worth  a  visit.  It  was  founded  and  built  about  1688 
by  Father  Eusebio  Francisco  Kino,  and  was  known  as 
the  Mission  San  Cayetano  de  Tumacacori.  About 
1769  the  Franciscans  assumed  charge,  and  repaired 
and  elaborated  the  structure.  They  maintained  it  for 
about  sixty  years,  until  the  Apache  Indians  laid  siege 
and  finally  captured  it,  driving  out  the  priests  and  dis 
persing  the  Papagos.  About  1850  it  was  found  by 
Americans  in  its  present  condition. 


The  boundary-line  which  divides  Utah  from  Ari 
zona  divides  the  most  gorgeous  expression  of  the  great 
American  desert  region.  From  the  Mesa  Verde  Na 
tional  Park  on  the  east  to  Zion  National  Monument  on 
the  west,  from  the  Natural  Bridges  on  the  north  to 
the  Grand  Canyon  and  the  Painted  Desert  on  the 
south,  the  country  glows  with  golden  sands  and  crim 
son  mesas,  a  wilderness  of  amazing  and  impossible 
contours  and  indescribable  charm. 

Within  this  region,  in  the  extreme  north  of  Ari 
zona,  lie  the  ruins  of  three  neighboring  pueblos.  Rich 
ard  Wetherill,  who  was  one  of  the  discoverers  of  the 
famous  cliff-cities  of  the  Mesa  Verde,  was  one  of  the 
party  which  found  the  Kit  Siel  (Broken  Pottery)  ruin 


in  1894  within  a  long  crescent-shaped  cave  in  the 
side  of  a  glowing  red  sandstone  cliff;  in  1908,  upon 
information  given  by  a  Navajo  Indian,  John  Wetherill, 
Professor  Byron  Gumming,  and  Neil  Judd  located  Be- 
tatakin  (Hillside  House)  ruin  within  a  crescent-shaped 
cavity  in  the  side  of  a  small  red  canyon.  Twenty 
miles  west  of  Betatakin  is  a  small  ruin  known  as  In 
scription  House  upon  whose  walls  is  a  carved  inscrip 
tion  supposed  to  have  been  made  by  Spanish  explorers 
who  visited  them  in  1661. 

While  these  ruins  show  no  features  materially 
differing  from  those  of  hundreds  of  other  more  accessi 
ble  pueblo  ruins,  they  possess  quite  extraordinary 
beauty  because  of  their  romantic  location  in  cliffs  of 
striking  color  in  a  region  of  mysterious  charm. 


But  the  Indian  civilization  of  our  southwest  be 
gan  very  many  centuries  before  the  arrival  of  the 
Spaniard,  who  found,  besides  the  innumerable  pueblos 
which  were  crowded  with  busy  occupants,  hundreds 
of  pueblos  which  had  been  deserted  by  their  builders, 
some  of  them  for  centuries,  and  which  lay  even  then 
in  ruins. 

The  desertion  of  so  many  pueblos  with  abundant 
pottery  and  other  evidences  of  active  living  is  one  of 
the  mysteries  of  this  prehistoric  civilization.  No  doubt, 
with  the  failure  of  water-supplies  and  other  changing 
physical  conditions,  occasionally  communities  sought 


better  living  in  other  localities,  but  it  is  certain  that 
many  of  these  desertions  resulted  from  the  raids  of 
the  wandering  predatory  tribes  of  the  plains,  the 
Querechos  of  Bandelier's  records,  but  usually  mentioned 
by  him  and  others  by  the  modern  name  of  Apaches. 
These  fierce  bands  continually  sought  to  possess  them 
selves  of  the  stores  of  food  and  clothing  to  be  found  in 
the  prosperous  pueblos.  The  utmost  cruelties  of  the 
Spanish  invaders  who,  after  all,  were  ruthless  only  in 
pursuit  of  gold,  and,  when  this  was  lacking,  tolerant 
and  even  kindly  in  their  treatment  of  the  natives, 
were  nothing  compared  to  the  atrocities  of  these  Apache 
Indians,  who  gloried  in  conquest. 

Of  the  ruins  of  pueblos  which  were  not  identified 
with  Spanish  occupation,  six  have  been  conserved  as 
national  monuments. 


Many  centuries  before  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards, 
a  deep  gorge  on  the  eastern  slope  of  the  Sierra  de  los 
Valles,  eighteen  miles  west  of  Santa  Fe,  New  Mexico, 
was  the  home  of  a  people  living  in  caves  which  they 
hollowed  by  enlarging  erosional  openings  in  the  soft 
volcanic  sides  of  nearly  perpendicular  cliffs.  The 
work  was  done  with  pains  and  skill.  A  small  entrance, 
sometimes  from  the  valley  floor,  sometimes  reached 
by  ladder,  opened  into  a  roomy  apartment  which  in 
many  cases  consisted  of  several  connecting  rooms. 
These  apartments  were  set  in  tiers  or  stories,  as  in  a 
modern  flat-house.  There  were  often  two,  sometimes 


three,  floors.  They  occurred  in  groups,  probably  rep 
resenting  families  or  clans,  and  some  of  these  groups 
numbered  hundreds.  Seen  to-day,  the  cliff-side  sug 
gests  not  so  much  the  modern  apartment-house,  of 
which  it  was  in  a  way  the  prehistoric  prototype,  as  a 
gigantic  pigeon-house. 

In  time  these  Indians  emerged  from  the  cliff  and 
built  a  great  semicircular  pueblo  up  the  valley,  sur 
rounded  by  smaller  habitations.  Other  pueblos,  prob 
ably  still  later  in  origin,  were  built  upon  surrounding 
mesas.  All  these  habitations  were  abandoned  perhaps 
centuries  before  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards.  The 
gorge  is  known  as  the  Rito  de  la  Frijoles,  which  is  the 
Spanish  name  of  the  clear  mountain-stream  which 
flows  through  it.  Since  1916  it  has  been  known  as  the 
Bandelier  National  Monument,  after  the  late  Adolf 
Francis  Bandelier,  the  distinguished  archaeologist  of 
the  southwest. 

The  valley  is  a  place  of  beauty.  It  is  six  miles 
long  and  nowhere  broader  than  half  a  mile;  its  entrance 
scarcely  admits  two  persons  abreast.  Its  southern 
wall  is  the  slope  of  a  tumbled  mesa,  its  northern  wall 
the  vertical  cliff  of  white  and  yellowish  pumice  in  which 
the  caves  were  dug.  The  walls  rise  in  crags  and  pin 
nacles  many  hundreds  of  feet.  Willows,  cottonwoods, 
cherries,  and  elders  grow  in  thickets  along  the  stream- 
side,  and  cactus  decorates  the  wastes.  It  is  reached 
by  automobile  from  Santa  Fe. 

This  national  monument  lies  within  a  large  irregu 
lar  area  which  has  been  suggested  for  a  national  park  be- 


cause  of  the  many  interesting  remains  which  it  encloses. 
The  Cliff  Cities  National  Park,  when  it  finally  comes 
into  existence,  will  include  among  its  exhibits  a  con 
siderable  group  of  prehistoric  shrines  of  great  value  and 
unusual  popular  interest. 

"The  Indians  of  to-day,"  writes  William  Boone 
Douglass,  "guard  with  great  tenacity  the  secrets  of 
their  shrines.  Even  when  the  locations  have  been 
found  they  will  deny  their  existence,  plead  ignorance 
of  their  meaning,  or  refuse  to  discuss  the  subject  in 
any  form."  Nevertheless,  they  claim  direct  descent 
from  the  prehistoric  shrine-builders,  many  of  whose 
shrines  are  here  found  among  others  of  later  origin. 


For  fourteen  miles,  both  sides  of  a  New  Mexican 
canyon  sixty-five  miles  equidistant  from  Farmington 
and  Gallup  are  lined  with  the  ruins  of  very  large  and 
prosperous  colonies  of  prehistoric  people.  Most  of 
the  buildings  were  pueblos,  many  of  them  containing 
between  fifty  and  a  hundred  rooms;  one,  known  to-day 
as  Pueblo  Bonito,  must  have  contained  twelve  hun 
dred  rooms. 

These  ruins  lie  in  their  original  desolation;  little 
excavation,  and  no  restoration  has  yet  been  done. 
Chaco  Canyon  must  have  been  the  centre  of  a  very 
large  population.  For  miles  in  all  directions,  par 
ticularly  westward,  pueblos  are  grouped  as  suburbs 
group  near  cities  of  to-day. 

It  is  not  surprising  that  so  populous  a  desert  neigh- 


borhood  required  extensive  systems  of  irrigation.  One 
of  these  is  so  well  preserved  that  little  more  than  the 
repair  of  a  dam  would  be  necessary  to  make  it  again 


Small  though  it  is,  Montezuma  Castle  is  justly 
one  of  the  most  celebrated  prehistoric  ruins  in  America. 
Its  charming  proportions,  and  particularly  its  com 
manding  position  in  the  face  of  a  lofty  precipice,  make 
it  a  spectacle  never  to  be  forgotten.  It  is  fifty-four 
miles  from  Prescott,  Arizona. 

This  structure  was  a  communal  house  which  orig 
inally  contained  twenty-five  rooms.  The  protection 
of  the  dry  climate  and  of  the  shallow  cave  in  which  it 
stands  has  well  preserved  it  these  many  centuries. 
Most  of  the  rooms  are  in  good  condition.  The  timbers, 
which  plainly  show  the  hacking  of  the  dull  primeval 
stone  axes,  are  among  its  most  interesting  exhibits. 
The  building  is  crescent-shaped,  sixty  feet  in  width 
and  about  fifty  feet  high.  It  is  five  stories  high,  but 
the  fifth  story  is  invisible  from  the  front  because  of 
the  high  stone  wall  of  the  facade.  The  cliff  forms  the 
back  wall  of  the  structure. 

Montezuma's  Castle  is  extremely  old.  Its  ma 
terial  is  soft  calcareous  stone,  and  nothing  but  its  shel 
tered  position  could  have  preserved  it.  There  are 
many  ruined  dwellings  in  the  neighborhood. 



Four  miles  east  of  the  Roosevelt  Dam  and  eighty 
miles  east  of  Phoenix,  Arizona,  are  two  small  groups 
of  cliff -dwellings  which  together  form  the  Tonto  Na 
tional  Monument.  The  southern  group  occupies  a 
cliff  cavern  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet  across. 
The  masonry  is  above  the  average.  The  ceilings  of 
the  lower  rooms  are  constructed  of  logs  laid  length 
wise,  upon  which  a  layer  of  fibre  serves  as  the  founda 
tion  for  the  four-inch  adobe  floor  of  the  chamber 

There  are  hundreds  of  cliff-dwellings  which  ex 
ceed  this  in  charm  and  interest,  but  its  nearness  to  an 
attraction  like  the  Roosevelt  Dam  and  glimpses  of 
it  which  the  traveller  catches  as  he  speeds  over  the 
Apache  Trail  make  it  invaluable  as  a  tourist  exhibit. 
Thousands  who  are  unable  to  undertake  the  long  and 
often  arduous  journeys  by  trail  to  the  greater  ruins, 
can  here  get  definite  ideas  and  a  hint  of  the  real  flavor 
of  prehistoric  civilization  in  America. 


Thirty  cliff-dwellings  cling  to  the  sides  of  pic 
turesque  Walnut  Canyon,  eight  miles  from  Flagstaff, 
Arizona.  They  are  excellently  preserved.  The  largest 
contains  eight  rooms.  The  canyon  possesses  unusual 
beauty  because  of  the  thickets  of  locust  which  fringe 
the  trail  down  from  the  rim.  One  climbs  down  lad 
ders  to  occasional  ruins  which  otherwise  are  inacces- 


sible.    Because  of  its  nearness  to  Flagstaff  several 
thousand  persons  visit  this  reservation  yearly. 


Fifty  miles  northeast  of  Silver  City,  New  Mexico, 
a  deep  rough  canyon  in  the  west  fork  of  the  Gila  River 
contains  a  group  of  four  cliff -dwellings  in  a  fair  state 
of  preservation.  They  lie  in  cavities  in  the  base  of 
an  overhanging  cliff  of  grayish-yellow  volcanic  rock 
which  at  one  time  apparently  were  closed  by  protect 
ing  walls.  When  discovered  by  prospectors  and 
hunters  about  1870,  many  sandals,  baskets,  spears, 
and  cooking  utensils  were  found  strewn  on  the  floors. 
Corn-cobs  are  all  that  vandals  have  left. 



THE  American  desert,  to  eyes  attuned,  is  charged 
with  beauty.  Few  who  see  it  from  the  car-win 
dow  find  it  attractive;  most  travellers  quickly  lose  in 
terest  in  its  repetitions  and  turn  back  to  their  novels. 
A  little  intimacy  changes  this  attitude.  Live  a  little 
with  the  desert.  See  it  in  its  varied  moods — for  every 
hour  it  changes;  see  it  at  sunrise,  at  midday,  at  sun 
set,  in  the  ghostly  night,  by  moonlight.  Observe  its 
life — for  it  is  full  of  life;  its  amazing  vegetation;  its 
varied  outline.  Drink  in  its  atmosphere,  its  history, 
its  tradition,  its  romance.  Open  your  soul  to  its  per 
suading  spirit.  Then,  insensibly  but  swiftly,  its  flavor 
will  enthrall  your  senses;  it  will  possess  you.  And 
once  possessed,  you  are  charmed  for  life.  It  will  call 
you  again  and  again,  as  the  sea  calls  the  sailor  and  the 
East  its  devotees. 

This  alluring  region  is  represented  in  our  national 
parks  system  by  reservations  which  display  its  range. 
The  Zion  National  Monument,  the  Grand  Canyon,  and 
the  Mesa  Verde  illustrate  widely  differing  phases. 
The  historical  monuments  convey  a  sense  of  its  ro 
mance.  There  remain  a  few  to  complete  the  gamut 

of  its  charms. 




Imagine  a  gray  Navajo  desert  dotted  with  purple 
sage;  huge  mesas,  deep  red,  squared  against  the  gray- 
blue  atmosphere  of  the  horizon;  pinnacles,  spires, 
shapes  like  monstrous  bloody  fangs,  springing  from  the 
sands;  a  floor  as  rough  as  stormy  seas,  heaped  with 
tumbled  rocks,  red,  yellow,  blue,  green,  grayish-white, 
between  which  rise  strange  yellowish-green  thorny 
growths,  cactus-like  and  unfamiliar;  a  pathless  waste, 
strewn  with  obsidian  fragments,  glaring  in  the  noon 
sun,  more  confusing  than  the  crooked  mazes  of  an  an 
cient  Oriental  city. 

Imagine  shapeless  masses  of  colored  sandstone, 
unclimbable,  barring  the  way;  acres  of  polished  mot 
tled  rock  tilted  at  angles  which  defy  crossing;  unex 
pected  canyons  whose  deep,  broken,  red  and  yellow 
precipices  force  long  detours. 

And  everywhere  color,  color,  color.  It  pervades 
the  glowing  floor,  the  uprising  edifices.  The  very  air 
palpitates  with  color,  insistent,  irresistible,  indefinable. 

This  is  the  setting  of  the  Rainbow  Bridge. 

Scarcely  more  than  a  hundred  persons  besides 
Indians,  they  tell  me,  have  seen  this  most  entrancing 
spectacle,  perhaps,  of  all  America.  The  way  in  is 
long  and  difficult.  There  are  only  two  or  three  who 
know  it,  even  of  those  who  have  been  there  more  than 
once,  and  the  region  has  no  inhabitants  to  point  direc 
tions  among  the  confusing  rocks.  There  is  no  water, 
nor  any  friendly  tree. 




The  day's  ride  is  wearying  in  the  extreme  in  spite 
of  its  fascinations.  The  objective  is  Navajo  Moun 
tain,  which,  strange  spectacle  in  this  desert  waste,  is 
forested  to  its  summit  with  yellow  pine  above  a  sur 
rounding  belt  of  juniper  and  pinyon,  with  a^pen  and 
willows,  wild  roses,  Indian  paint-brush,  primrose,  and 
clematis  in  its  lower  valleys.  Below,  the  multicolored 
desert,  deep  cat  with  the  canyons  which  carry  off  the 
many  little  rivers. 

Down  one  of  these  wild  and  highly  colored  desert 
canyons  among  whose  vivid  tumbled  rocks  your  horses 
pick  their  course  with  difficulty,  you  suddenly  see  a 
rainbow  caught  among  the  vivid  bald  rocks,  a  slender 
arch  so  deliciously  proportioned,  so  gracefully  curved 
among  its  sharp  surroundings,  that  your  eye  fixes  it 
steadfastly  and  your  heart  bounds  with  relief;  until 
now  you  had  not  noticed  the  oppression  of  this  angled, 
spine-carpeted  landscape. 

From  now  on  nothing  else  possesses  you.  The 
eccentricity  of  the  going  constantly  hides  it,  and  each 
reappearance  brings  again  the  joy  of  discovery.  And 
at  last  you  reach  it,  dismount  beside  the  small  clear 
stream  which  flows  beneath  it,  approach  reverently, 
overwhelmed  with  a  strange  mingling  of  awe  and 
great  elation.  You  stand  beneath  its  enormous  en 
circling  red  and  yellow  arch  and  perceive  that  it  is 
the  support  which  holds  up  the  sky.  It  is  long  before 
turbulent  emotion  permits  the  mind  to  analyze  the 
elements  which  compose  its  extraordinary  beauty. 

Dimensions  mean  little  before  spectacles  like  this. 


To  know  that  the  span  is  two  hundred  and  seventy- 
eight  feet  may  help  realization  at  home,  where  it  may 
be  laid  out,  staked  and  looked  at;  it  exceeds  a  block 
of  Fifth  Avenue  in  New  York.  To  know  that  the 
apex  of  the  rainbow's  curve  is  three  hundred  and  nine 
feet  above  your  wondering  eyes  means  nothing  to  you 
there;  but  to  those  who  know  New  York  City  it  means 
the  height  of  the  Flatiron  Building  built  three  stories 
higher.  Choose  a  building  of  equal  height  in  your 
own  city,  stand  beside  it  and  look  up.  Then  imagine 
it  a  gigantic  monolithic  arch  of  entrancing  proportions 
and  fascinating  curve,  glowing  in  reds  and  yellows 
which  merge  into  each  other  insensibly  and  without 
form  or  pattern.  Imagine  this  fairy  unreality  out 
lined,  not  against  the  murk  which  overlies  cities,  but 
against  a  sky  of  desert  clarity  and  color. 

All  natural  bridges  are  created  wholly  by  erosion. 
This  was  carved  from  an  outstanding  spur  of  Navajo 
sandstone  which  lay  crosswise  of  the  canyon.  Orig 
inally  the  stream  struck  full  against  this  barrier,  swung 
sideways,  and  found  its  way  around  the  spur's  free 
outer  edge.  The  end  was  merely  a  matter  of  time. 
Gradually  but  surely  the  stream,  sand-laden  in  times  of 
flood,  wore  an  ever-deepening  hollow  in  the  barrier. 
Finally  it  wore  it  through  and  passed  under  what  then 
became  a  bridge.  But  meantime  other  agencies  were 
at  work.  The  rocky  wall  above,  alternately  hot  and 
cold,  as  happens  in  high  arid  lands,  detached  curved, 
flattened  plates.  Worn  below  by  the  stream,  thinned 
above  by  the  destructive  processes  of  wind  and  tern- 


perature,  the  window  enlarged.  In  time  the  Rainbow 
Bridge  evolved  in  all  its  glorious  beauty.  Not  far  away 
is  another  natural  bridge  well  advanced  in  the  making. 

The  Rainbow  Bridge  was  discovered  in  1909  by 
William  Boone  Douglass,  Examiner  of  Surveys  in  the 
General  Land  Office,  Santa  Fe.  Following  is  an  ab 
stract  of  the  government  report  covering  the  discovery: 

"The  information  had  come  to  Mr.  Douglass 
from  a  Paiute  Indian,  Mike's  Boy,  who  later  took  the 
name  of  Jim,  employed  as  flagman  in  the  survey  of 
the  three  great  natural  bridges  of  White  Canyon. 
Seeing  the  white  man's  appreciation  of  this  form  of 
wind  and  water  erosion,  Jim  told  of  a  greater  bridge 
known  only  to  himself  and  one  other  Indian,  located  on 
the  north  side  of  the  Navajo  Mountain,  in  the  Paiute 
Indian  reservation.  Bending  a  twig  of  willow  in 
rainbow-shape,  with  its  ends  stuck  in  the  ground,  Jim 
showed  what  his  bridge  looked  like. 

"An  effort  was  made  to  reach  the  bridge  in  De 
cember.  Unfortunately  Jim  could  not  be  located. 
On  reaching  the  Navajo  trading-post,  Oljato,  nothing 
was  known  of  such  a  bridge,  and  the  truth  of  Jim's 
statement  was  questioned. 

"The  trip  was  abandoned  until  August  of  the 
following  year,  when  Mr.  Douglass  organized  a  second 
party  at  Bluff,  Utah,  and  under  Jim's  guidance,  left 
for  the  bridge.  At  Oljato  the  party  was  augmented 
by  Professor  Cummings,  and  a  party  of  college  stu 
dents,  with  John  Wetherill  as  packer,  who  were  ex 
cavating  ruins  in  the  Navajo  Indian  Reservation.  As 


the  uninhabited  and  unknown  country  of  the  bridge 
was  reached,  travel  became  almost  impossible.  All 
equipment,  save  what  was  absolutely  indispensable, 
was  discarded.  The  whole  country  was  a  maze  of 
box  canyons,  as  though  some  turbulent  sea  had  sud 
denly  solidified  in  rock.  Only  at  a  few  favored  points 
could  the  canyon  walls  be  scaled  even  by  man,  and  still 
fewer  where  a  horse  might  clamber.  In  the  sloping 
sandstone  ledges  footholds  for  the  horses  must  be  cut, 
and  even  then  they  fell,  until  their  loss  seemed  certain. 
After  many  adventures  the  party  arrived  at  1 1  o'clock, 
A.  M.,  August  14,  1909. 

"Jim  had  indeed  made  good.  Silhouetted  against 
a  turquoise  sky  was  an  arch  of  rainbow  shape,  so  deli 
cately  proportioned  that  it  seemed  as  if  some  great 
sculptor  had  hewn  it  from  the  rock.  Its  span  of  270 
feet  bridged  a  stream  of  clear,  sparkling  water,  that 
flowed  310  feet  below  its  crest.  The  world's  greatest 
natural  bridge  had  been  found  as  Jim  had  described  it. 
Beneath  it,  an  ancient  altar  bore  witness  to  the  fact 
that  it  was  a  sacred  shrine  of  those  archaic  people, 
the  builders  of  the  weird  and  mysterious  cliff-castles 
seen  in  the  Navajo  National  Monument. 

"The  crest  of  the  bridge  was  reached  by  Mr. 
Douglass  and  his  three  assistants,  John  R.  English, 
Jean  F.  Rogerson,  and  Daniel  Perkins,  by  lowering 
themselves  with  ropes  to  the  south  abutment,  and 
climbing  its  arch.  Probably  they  were  the  first  human 
beings  to  reach  it. 

"No  Indian  name  for  the  bridge  was  known,  ex- 


cept  such  descriptive  generic  terms  as  the  Paiute  'The 
space  under  a  horse's  belly  between  its  fore  and  hind 
legs/  or  the  'Hole  in  the  rock'  (nonnezoshi)  of  the 
Navajo,  neither  of  which  was  deemed  appropriate. 
While  the  question  of  a  name  was  still  being  debated, 
there  appeared  in  the  sky,  as  if  in  answer,  a  beautiful 
rainbow,  the  'Barahoni'  of  the  Paiutes. 

"The  suitability  of  the  name  was  further  demon 
strated  by  a  superstition  of  the  Navajos.  On  the  occa 
sion  of  his  second  visit,  the  fall  of  the  same  year,  Mr. 
Douglass  had  as  an  assistant  an  old  Navajo  Indian 
named  White  Horse,  who,  after  passing  under  the 
bridge,  would  not  return,  but  climbed  laboriously 
around  its  end.  On  being  pressed  for  an  explanation, 
he  would  arch  his  hand,  and  through  it  squint  at  the 
sun,  solemnly  shaking  his  head.  Later,  through  the 
assistance  of  Mrs.  John  Wetherill,  an  experienced 
Navajo  linguist,  Mr.  Douglass  learned  that  the  forma 
tions  of  the  type  of  the  bridge  were  symbolic  rainbows, 
or  the  sun's  path,  and  one  passing  under  could  not  re 
turn,  under  penalty  of  death,  without  the  utterance 
of  a  certain  prayer,  which  White  Horse  had  forgotten. 
The  aged  Navajo  informant  would  not  reveal  the 
prayer  for  fear  of  the  '  Lightning  Snake."' 

If  your  return  from  Rainbow  Bridge  carries  you 
through  Monument  Valley  with  its  miles  of  blazing 
red  structures,  memory  will  file  still  another  amazing 
sensation.  Some  of  its  crimson  monsters  rise  a  thou 
sand  feet  above  the  grassy  plain. 



Not  many  miles  north  of  the  Rainbow  Bridge, 
fifty  miles  from  Monticello  in  southern  Utah,  in  a 
region  not  greatly  dissimilar  in  outline,  and  only  less 
colorful,  three  natural  bridges  of  large  size  have  been 
conserved  under  the  title  of  the  Natural  Bridges  Na 
tional  Monument.  Here,  west  of  the  Mesa  Verde, 
the  country  is  characterized  by  long,  broad  mesas, 
sometimes  crowned  with  stunted  cedar  forests,  drop 
ping  suddenly  into  deep  valleys.  The  erosion  of  many 
thousands  of  centuries  has  ploughed  the  surface  into 
winding  rock-strewn  canyons,  great  and  small.  Three 
of  these  canyons  are  crossed  by  bridges  stream-cut 
through  the  solid  rock. 

The  largest,  locally  known  as  the  Augusta  Bridge, 
is  named  Sipapu,  Gate  of  Heaven.  It  is  one  of  the 
largest  natural  bridges  in  the  world,  measuring  two 
hundred  and  twenty-two  feet  in  height,  with  a  span  of 
two  hundred  and  sixty-one  feet.  It  is  a  graceful  and 
majestic  structure,  so  proportioned  and  finished  that 
it  is  difficult,  from  some  points  of  view,  to  believe  it 
the  unplanned  work  of  natural  forces.  One  crosses  it 
on  a  level  platform  twenty-eight  feet  wide. 

The  other  two,  which  are  nearly  its  size,  are  found 
within  five  miles.  The  Kachina,  which  means  Guar 
dian  Spirit,  is  locally  called  the  Caroline  Bridge.  The 
Owachomo,  meaning  Rock  Mound,  is  locally  known 
as  the  Edwin  Bridge.  The  local  names  celebrate  per 
sons  who  visited  them  soon  after  they  were  first  dis 
covered  by  Emery  Knowles  in  1895. 


They  may  be  reached  by  horse  and  pack-train 
from  Monticello,  or  Bluff,  Utah.  One  of  the  five  sec 
tions  of  the  reservation  conserves  two  large  caves. 


The  Age  of  Reptile  developed  a  wide  variety  of 
monsters  in  the  central  regions  of  the  continent  from 
Montana  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  The  dinosaurs  of 
the  Triassic  and  Jurassic  periods  sometimes  had  gi 
gantic  size,  the  Brontosaurus  attaining  a  length  of 
sixty  feet  or  more.  The  femur  of  the  Brachiosaurus 
exceeded  six  feet;  this  must  have  been  the  greatest  of 
them  all. 

The  greater  dinosaurs  were  herbivorous.  The 
carnivorous  species  were  not  remarkable  for  size; 
there  were  small  leaping  forms  scarcely  larger  than 
rabbits.  The  necessity  for  defense  against  the  flesh- 
eaters  developed,  in  the  smaller  dinosaurs,  extremely 
heavy  armor.  The  stegosaur  carried  huge  plates  upon 
his  curved  back,  suggesting  a  circular  saw;  his  long 
powerful  tail  was  armed  with  sharp  spikes,  and  must 
have  been  a  dangerous  weapon.  Dinosaurs  roamed 
all  over  what  is  now  called  our  middle  west. 

In  those  days  the  central  part  of  our  land  was 
warm  and  swampy.  Fresh- water  lagoons  and  slug 
gish  streams  were  bordered  by  low  forests  of  palms 
and  ferns;  one  must  go  to  the  tropics  to  find  a  corre 
sponding  landscape  in  our  times.  The  waters  abounded 
in  reptiles  and  fish.  Huge  winged  reptiles  flew  from 
cover  to  cover.  The  first  birds  were  evolving  from 
reptilian  forms. 


The  absorbing  story  of  these  times  is  written  in 
the  rocks.  The  life  forms  were  at  their  full  when  the 
sands  were  laid  which  to-day  is  the  wide-spread  layer 
of  sandstone  which  geologists  call  the  Morrison  forma 
tion.  Erosion  has  exposed  this  sandstone  in  several 
parts  of  the  western  United  States,  and  many  have 
been  the  interesting  glimpses  it  has  afforded  of  that 
strange  period  so  many  millions  of  years  ago. 

In  the  Uintah  Basin  of  northwestern  Utah,  a  region 
of  bad  lands  crossed  by  the  Green  River  on  its  way  to 
the  Colorado  and  the  Grand  Canyon,  the  Morrison 
strata  have  been  bent  upward  at  an  angle  of  sixty 
degrees  or  more  and  then  cut  through,  exposing  their 
entire  depth.  The  country  is  extremely  rough  and 
bare.  Only  in  occasional  widely  separated  bottoms 
has  irrigation  made  farming  possible;  elsewhere  nothing 
grows  upon  the  bald  hillsides. 

Here,  eighteen  miles  east  of  the  town  of  Vernal, 
eighty  acres  of  the  exposed  Morrison  strata  were  set 
aside  in  1915  as  the  Dinosaur  National  Monument. 
These  acres  have  already  yielded  a  very  large  collec 
tion  of  skeletons.  Since  1908  the  Carnegie  Museum 
of  Pittsburgh  has  been  gathering  specimens  of  the 
greatest  importance.  The  only  complete  skeleton  of 
a  dinosaur  ever  found  was  taken  out  in  1909.  The 
work  of  quarrying  and  removal  is  done  with  the  ut 
most  care.  The  rock  is  chiselled  away  in  thin  layers, 
as  no  one  can  tell  when  an  invaluable  relic  may  be 
found.  As  fast  as  bones  are  detached,  they  are  cov 
ered  with  plaster  of  Paris  and  so  wrapped  that  break- 


age  becomes  impossible.    Two  years  were  required  to 
unearth  the  skeleton  of  a  brontosaurus. 

The  extraordinary  massing  of  fossil  remains  at 
this  point  suggests  that  floods  may  have  swept  these 
animals  from  a  large  area  and  lodged  their  bodies  here, 
where  they  were  covered  with  sands.  But  it  also  is 
possible  that  this  spot  was  merely  a  favorite  feeding- 
ground.  It  may  be  that  similarly  rich  deposits  lie 
hidden  in  many  places  in  the  wide-spread  Morrison 
sandstone  which  some  day  may  be  unearthed.  The 
bones  of  dinosaurs  have  been  found  in  the  Morrison 
of  Colorado  near  Boulder. 


For  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  or  thirty  miles 
southwest  of  the  Grand  Canyon,  the  valley  of  the 
Little  Colorado  River  is  known  as  the  Painted  Desert. 
It  is  a  narrow  plain  of  Carboniferous  and  Triassic 
marls,  shales,  sandstones,  and  conglomerates,  abound 
ing  in  fossils,  the  most  arid  part  of  Arizona;  even  the 
river's  lower  reaches  dry  up  for  a  part  of  each  year. 
But  it  is  a  palette  of  brilliant  colors;  it  will  be  difficult 
to  name  a  tint  or  shade  which  is  not  vividly  represented 
in  this  gaudy  floor  and  in  the  strata  of  the  cliffs  which 
define  its  northern  and  eastern  limits.  Above  and  be 
yond  these  cliffs  lies  that  other  amazing  desert,  the 
Navajo  country,  the  land  of  the  Rainbow  Bridge  and 
the  Canyon  de  Chelly. 

I  have  mentioned  the  Painted  Desert  because  it 
is  shaped  like  a  long  narrow  finger  pointed  straight 


at  the  Petrified  Forests  lying  just  beyond  its  touch. 
Here  the  country  is  also  highly  colored,  but  very  dif 
ferently.  Maroon  and  tawny  yellow  are  the  prevail 
ing  tints  of  the  marls,  red  and  brown  the  colors  of  the 
sandstones.  There  is  a  rolling  sandy  floor  crisscrossed 
with  canyons  in  whose  bottoms  grow  stunted  cedars 
and  occasional  cottonwoods.  Upon  this  floor  thou 
sands  of  petrified  logs  are  heaped  in  confusion.  In 
many  places  the  strong  suggestion  is  that  of  a  log  jam 
left  stranded  by  subsiding  floods.  Nearly  all  the  logs 
have  broken  into  short  lengths  as  cleanly  cut  as  if 
sawn,  the  result  of  succeeding  heat  and  cold. 

Areas  of  petrified  wood  are  common  in  many  parts 
of  the  Navajo  country  and  its  surrounding  deserts. 
The  larger  areas  are  marked  on  the  Geological  Survey 
maps,  and  many  lesser  areas  are  mentioned  in  reports. 
There  are  references  to  rooted  stumps.  The  three 
groups  in  the  Petrified  Forest  National  Monument, 
near  the  town  of  Adamana,  Arizona,  were  chosen  for 
conservation  because  they  are  the  largest  and  perhaps 
the  finest;  at  the  time,  the  gorgeously  colored  logs 
were  being  carried  away  in  quantities  to  be  cut  up  into 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  these  are  not  forests.  Most 
of  these  trees  grew  upon  levels  seven  hundred  feet  or 
more  higher  than  where  they  now  lie  and  at  unknown 
distances;  floods  left  them  here. 

The  First  Forest,  which  lies  six  miles  south  of 
Adamana,  contains  thousands  of  broken  lengths. 
One  unbroken  log  a  hundred  and  eleven  feet  long 

rr  ,i   /  41  ,  v 

•A    ^ 

THE  PETRIFIED  FOREST  OF  ARJZONjA  0  „'    ',  ;  .     \  -  . 

Showing  the  formation  in  colored  strata.     The  logs  seen  on  the  ground  grew  upon  a  level  seven 

hundred  feet  higher  ,'  >      .*       •  •  ».•     > '.  •     *i 


The  trunk  is  in  feet  long.     The  stone  piers  were  built  to  preserve  it 


bridges  a  canyon  forty-five  feet  wide,  a  remarkable 
spectacle.  In  the  Second  Forest,  which  lies  two  miles 
and  a  half  south  of  that,  and  the  Third  Forest,  which 
is  thirteen  miles  south  of  Adamana  and  eighteen  miles 
southeast  of  Holbrook,  most  of  the  trunks  appear  to 
lie  in  their  original  positions.  One  which  was  mea 
sured  by  Doctor  G.  H.  Knowlton  of  the  Smithsonian 
Institution  was  more  than  seven  feet  in  diameter  and 
a  hundred  and  twenty  feet  long.  He  estimates  the 
average  diameters  at  three  or  four  feet,  while  lengths 
vary  from  sixty  to  a  hundred  feet. 

The  coloring  of  the  wood  is  variegated  and  bril 
liant.  "The  state  of  mineralization  in  which  most  of 
this  wood  exists,"  writes  Professor  Lester  F.  Ward, 
paleobotanist,  "almost  places  them  among  the  gems 
or  precious  stones.  Not  only  are  chalcedony,  opals, 
and  agates  found  among  them,  but  many  approach  the 
condition  of  jasper  and  onyx."  "The  chemistry  of 
the  process  of  petrifaction  or  silicification,"  writes 
Doctor  George  P.  Merrill,  Curator  of  Geology  in  the 
National  Museum,  "is  not  quite  clear.  Silica  is  ordi 
narily  looked  upon  as  one  of  the  most  insoluble  of  sub 
stances.  It  is  nevertheless  readily  soluble  in  alkaline 
solutions — i.  e.,  solutions  containing  soda  or  potash. 
It  is  probable  that  the  solutions  permeating  these 
buried  logs  were  thus  alkaline,  and  as  the  logs  gradually 
decayed  their  organic  matter  was  replaced,  molecule 
by  molecule,  by  silica.  The  brilliant  red  and  other 
colors  are  due  to  the  small  amount  of  iron  and  man 
ganese  deposited  together  with  the  silica,  and  super- 


oxydized  as  the  trunks  are  exposed  to  the  air.  The 
most  brilliant  colors  are  therefore  to  be  found  on  the 

The  trees  are  of  several  species.  All  those  identi 
fied  by  Doctor  Knowlton  were  Araucaria,  which  do  not 
now  live  in  the  northern  hemisphere.  Doctor  E.  C. 
Jeffrey,  of  Harvard,  has  described  one  genus  unknown 

To  get  the  Petrified  Forest  into  full  prospective 
it  is  well  to  recall  that  these  shales  and  sands  were  laid 
in  water,  above  whose  surface  the  land  raised  many 
times,  only  to  sink  again  and  accumulate  new  strata. 
The  plateau  now  has  fifty-seven  hundred  feet  of  alti 

"When  it  is  known,"  writes  Doctor  Knowlton, 
"that  since  the  close  of  Triassic  times  probably  more 
than  fifty  thousand  feet  of  sediments  have  been  de 
posited,  it  is  seen  that  the  age  of  the  Triassic  forests 
of  Arizona  can  only  be  reckoned  in  millions  of  years 
— just  how  many  it  would  be  mere  speculation  to  at 
tempt  to  estimate.  It  is  certain,  also,  that  at  one  time 
the  strata  containing  these  petrified  logs  were  them 
selves  buried  beneath  thousands  of  feet  of  strata  of 
later  ages,  which  have  in  places  been  worn  away  suffi 
ciently  to  expose  the  tree-bearing  beds.  Undoubtedly 
other  forests  as  great  or  greater  than  those  now  exposed 
lie  buried  beneath  the  later  formations." 

A  very  interesting  small  forest,  not  in  the  reser 
vation,  lies  nine  miles  north  of  Adamana. 



The  popular  idea  of  a  desert  of  dry  drifting  sand 
unrelieved  except  at  occasional  oases  by  evidences  of 
life  was  born  of  our  early  geographies,  which  pictured 
the  Sahara  as  the  desert  type.  Far  different  indeed 
is  our  American  desert,  most  of  which  has  a  few  inches 
of  rainfall  in  the  early  spring  and  grows  a  peculiar 
flora  of  remarkable  individuality  and  beauty.  The 
creosote  bush  seen  from  the  car-windows  shelters  a 
few  grasses  which  brown  and  die  by  summer,  but  help 
to  color  the  landscape  the  year  around.  Many  low 
flowering  plants  gladden  the  desert  springtime,  and 
in  the  far  south  and  particularly  in  the  far  southwest 
are  several  varieties  of  cactus  which  attain  great  size. 
The  frequenter  of  the  desert  soon  correlates  its  flora 
with  its  other  scenic  elements  and  finds  all  rich  and 

In  southwestern  Arizona  and  along  the  southern 
border  of  California  this  strange  flora  finds  its  fullest 
expression.  Here  one  enters  a  new  fairy -land,  a  region 
of  stinging  bushes  and  upstanding  monsters  lifting  un 
gainly  arms  to  heaven.  In  1914,  to  conserve  one  of 
the  many  rich  tracts  of  desert  flora,  President  Wilson 
created  the  Papago  Saguaro  National  Monument  a 
few  miles  east  of  Phoenix,  Arizona.  Its  two  thousand 
and  fifty  acres  include  fine  examples  of  innumerable 
desert  species  in  fullest  development. 

Among  these  the  cholla  is  at  once  one  of  the  most 
fascinating  and  the  most  exasperating.  It  belongs 


to  the  prickly  pear  family,  but  there  resemblance 
ceases.  It  is  a  stocky  bush  two  or  three  feet  high 
covered  with  balls  of  flattened  powerful  sharp-pointed 
needles  which  will  penetrate  even  a  heavy  shoe.  In 
November  these  fall,  strewing  the  ground  with  spiny 
indestructible  weapons.  There  are  many  varieties  of 
chollas  and  all  are  decorative.  The  tree  cholla  grows 
from  seven  to  ten  feet  in  height,  a  splendid  showy 
feature  of  the  desert  slopes,  and  the  home,  fortress, 
and  sure  defense  for  all  the  birds  who  can  find  nest- 
room  behind  its  bristling  breastwork. 

The  Cereus  thurberi,  the  pipe-organ,  or  candela 
brum  cactus,  as  it  is  variously  called,  grows  in  thick 
straight  columns  often  clumped  closely  together,  a 
picturesque  and  beautiful  creation.  Groups  range 
from  a  few  inches  to  many  feet  in  height.  One  clump 
of  twenty-two  stems  has  been  reported,  the  largest 
stem  of  which  was  twenty  feet  high  and  twenty-two 
inches  in  diameter. 

Another  of  picturesque  appeal  is  the  bisnaga  or 
barrel  cactus,  of  which  there  are  many  species  of  many 
sizes.  Like  all  cacti,  it  absorbs  water  during  the  brief 
wet  season  and  stores  it  for  future  use.  A  specimen 
the  size  of  a  flour-barrel  can  be  made  to  yield  a  couple 
of  gallons  of  sweetish  but  refreshing  water,  whereby 
many  a  life  has  been  saved  in  the  sandy  wastes. 

But  the  desert's  chief  exhibit  is  the  giant  saguaro, 
the  Cereus  giganteus,  from  which  the  reservation  got 
its  name.  This  stately  cactus  rises  in  a  splendid  green 
column,  accordion-plaited  and  decorated  with  star- 


like  clusters  of  spines  upon  the  edges  of  the  plaits. 
The  larger  specimens  grow  as  high  as  sixty  or  seventy 
feet  and  throw  out  at  intervals  powerful  branches 
which  bend  sharply  upward;  sometimes  there  are  as 
many  as  eight  or  nine  of  these  gigantic  branches. 

No  towering  fir  or  spreading  oak  carries  a  more 
princely  air.  A  forest  of  giant  saguaro  rising  from  a 
painted  desert  far  above  the  tangle  of  creosote-bush, 
mesquite,  cholla,  bisnaga,  and  scores  of  other  strange 
growths  of  a  land  of  strange  attractions  is  a  spectacle 
to  stir  the  blood  and  to  remember  for  a  lifetime. 


On  the  desert  border  of  far-western  Colorado 
near  Grand  Junction  is  a  region  of  red  sandstone 
which  the  erosion  of  the  ages  has  carved  into  innu 
merable  strange  and  grotesque  shapes.  Once  a  great 
plain,  then  a  group  of  mesas,  now  it  has  become  a  city 
of  grotesque  monuments.  Those  who  have  seen  the 
Garden  of  the  Gods  near  Colorado  Springs  can  imagine 
it  multiplied  many  times  in  size,  grotesqueness,  com 
plexity,  and  area;  such  a  vision  will  approximate  the 
Colorado  National  Monument.  The  two  regions  have 
other  relations  in  common,  for  as  the  Garden  of  the 
Gods  flanks  the  Rockies'  eastern  slopes  and  looks  east 
ward  to  the  great  plains,  so  does  the  Colorado  National 
Monument  flank  the  Rockies'  western  desert.  Both 
are  the  disclosure  by  erosion  of  similar  strata  of  red 
sandstone  which  may  have  been  more  or  less  con- 


tinuous  before  the  great  Rockies  wrinkled,  lifted,  and 
burst  upward  between  them. 

The  rock  monuments  of  this  group  are  extremely 
highly  colored.  They  rise  in  several  neighboring  can 
yons  and  some  of  them  are  of  great  height  and  fan 
tastic  design.  One  is  a  nearly  circular  column  with  a 
diameter  of  a  hundred  feet  at  the  base  and  a  height 
of  more  than  four  hundred  feet. 

Caves  add  to  the  attractions,  and  there  are  many 
springs  among  the  tangled  growths  of  the  canyon  floors. 
There  are  cedars  and  pinyon  trees.  The  region  abounds 
in  mule-deer  and  other  wild  animals. 


After  the  sea-bottom  which  is  now  our  desert 
southwest  rose  for  the  last  time  and  became  the  lofty 
plateau  of  to-day,  many  were  the  changes  by  which  its 
surface  became  modified.  Chief  of  these  was  the 
erosion  which  has  washed  its  levels  thousands  of  feet 
below  its  potential  altitude  and  carved  it  so  remark 
ably.  But  it  also  became  a  field  of  wide-spread  vol 
canic  activity,  and  lavas  and  obsidians  are  constantly 
encountered  among  its  gravels,  sands,  and  shales. 
Many  also  are  the  cones  of  dead  volcanoes. 

Capulin  Mountain  in  northeastern  New  Mexico 
near  the  Colorado  line  is  a  very  ancient  volcano  which 
retains  its  shape  in  nearly  perfect  condition.  It  was 
made  a  national  monument  for  scientific  reasons,  but 
it  also  happily  rounds  out  the  national  parks'  exhibit 
of  the  influences  which  created  our  wonderful  south- 


west.  Its  crater  cone  is  composed  partly  of  lava  flow, 
partly  of  fine  loose  cinder,  and  partly  of  cemented  vol 
canic  ash.  It  is  nearly  a  perfect  cone. 

Capulin  rises  fifteen  hundred  feet  from  the  plain 
to  an  altitude  of  eight  thousand  feet.  Its  crater  is 
fifteen  hundred  feet  across  and  seventy-five  feet  deep. 
To  complete  the  volcanic  exhibit  many  blister  cones 
are  found  around  its  base.  It  is  easily  reached  from 
two  railroads  or  by  automobile. 



NATIONAL  monuments  which  commemorate  his 
tory,  conserve  forests,  and  distinguish  conspicu 
ous  examples  of  world-making  dot  other  parts  of  the 
United  States  besides  the  colorful  southwest.  Their 
variety  is  great  and  the  natural  beauty  of  some  of  them 

Their  number  should  be  much  greater.  Every 
history-helping  exploration  of  the  early  days,  from 
Cortreal's  inspection  of  the  upper  Atlantic  coast  in 
1501  and  Ponce  de  Leon's  exploration  of  Florida 
eleven  years  later,  from  Cabrillo's  skirting  of  the 
Pacific  coast  in  1542  and  Vancouver's  entrance  into 
Puget  Sound  in  1792,  including  every  early  expedition 
from  north  and  south  into  the  country  now  ours  and 
every  exploration  of  the  interior  by  our  own  people, 
should  be  commemorated,  not  by  a  slab  of  bronze  or 
marble,  but  by  a  striking  and  appropriate  area  set 
apart  as  a  definite  memorial  of  the  history  of  this 
nation's  early  beginnings. 

These  areas  should  be  appropriately  located  upon 
or  overlooking  some  important  or  characteristic  land 
mark  of  the  explorations  or  events  which  they  com 
memorated,  and  should  have  scenic  importance  suffi- 



cient  to  attract  visitors  and  impress  upon  them  the 
stages  of  the  progress  of  this  land  from  a  condition  of 
wilderness  to  settlement  and  civilization. 

Nor  should  it  end  here.  The  country  is  richly  en 
dowed,  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific,  with  exam 
ples  of  Nature's  amazing  handicraft  in  the  making  of 
this  continent,  the  whole  range  of  which  should  be 
fully  expressed  in  national  reservations. 

Besides  these,  examples  of  our  northeastern  for 
ests,  the  pines  of  the  southern  Appalachians,  the  ever 
glades  of  Florida,  the  tangled  woodlands  of  the  gulf, 
and  other  typical  forests  which  perchance  may  have 
escaped  the  desolation  of  civilization,  should  be  added 
to  the  splendid  forest  reserves  of  the  national  parks  of 
the  West,  first-grown  as  Nature  made  them,  forever  to 
remain  untouched  by  the  axe. 

Thus  will  the  national  parks  system  become  the 
real  national  museum  for  to-day  and  forever. 

There  follows  a  brief  catalogue  of  the  slender  and 
altogether  fortuitous  beginnings  of  such  an  exhibit. 


One  of  the  last  remaining  stands  of  original  red 
wood  forest  easily  accessible  to  the  visitor  is  the  Muir 
Woods  in  California.  It  occupies  a  picturesque  canyon 
on  the  slope  of  Mount  Tamalpais,  north  of  the  Golden 
Gate  and  opposite  San  Francisco,  from  which  it  is 
comfortably  reached  by  ferry  and  railroad.  It  was 
rescued  from  the  axe  by  William  Kent  of  California, 
who,  jointly  with  Mrs.  Kent,  gave  it  to  the  nation  as 


an  exhibit  of  the  splendid  forest  which  once  crowded 
the  shores  of  San  Francisco  Bay.  It  is  named  after 
John  Muir,  to  whom  this  grove  was  a  favorite  retreat 
for  many  years. 

It  exhibits  many  noble  specimens  of  the  California 
redwood,  Sequoia  sempervirens,  cousin  of  the  giant 
sequoia.  Some  of  them  attain  a  height  of  three  hun 
dred  feet,  with  a  diameter  exceeding  eighteen  feet. 
They  stand  usually  in  clusters,  or  family  groups,  their 
stems  erect  as  pillars,  their  crowns  joined  in  a  lofty 
roof,  rustling  in  the  Pacific  winds,  musical  with  the 
songs  of  birds.  Not  even  in  the  giant  sequoia  groves 
of  the  Sierra  have  I  found  any  spot  more  cathedral- 
like  than  this.  Its  floor  is  brown  and  sweet-smelling, 
its  aisles  outlined  by  the  tread  of  generations  of  wor 
shippers.  Its  naves,  transepts,  alcoves,  and  sanctu 
aries  are  still  and  dim,  yet  filled  mysteriously  with 

The  Muir  Woods  is  a  grove  of  noble  redwoods, 
but  it  is  much  more.  Apart  from  its  main  passages, 
in  alcove,  gateway,  and  outlying  precinct  it  is  an  ex 
hibit  of  the  rich  Calif ornian  coast  forest.  The  Douglas 
fir  here  reaches  stately  proportions.  Many  of  the 
western  oaks  display  their  manifold  picturesqueness. 
A  hundred  lesser  trees  and  shrubs  add  their  grace  and 
variety.  The  forest  is  typical  and  complete.  Though 
small  in  scope  it  is  not  a  remnant  but  naturally  blends 
into  its  surroundings.  The  shaded  north  hill  slopes 
carry  the  great  trees  to  the  ridge  line;  the  southern 
slope  exhibits  the  struggle  for  precedence  with  the 

From  a  photograph  by  Tibbitts 



mountain  shrubs.  At  the  lower  end  one  bursts  out 
into  the  grass  country  and  the  open  hills.  Every 
feature  of  the  loveliest  of  all  forests  is  at  hand:  the 
valley  floor  with  its  miniature  trout-stream  overhung 
with  fragrant  azaleas;  the  brown  carpet  interwoven 
with  azaleas  and  violets.  There  is  the  cool  decoration 
of  many  ferns. 

The  straight-growing  redwoods  compel  a  change 
of  habit  in  the  trees  that  would  struggle  toward  a  view 
of  the  sky.  Mountain-oaks  and  madrona  are  straight- 
trunked  and  clear  of  lower  branches.  There  is  rivalry 
of  the  strong  and  protection  for  the  weak. 

The  grove  is,  in  truth,  a  complete  expression  in 
little  of  Nature's  forest  plan.  The  characteristics  of 
the  greater  redwood  forests  which  require  weeks  or 
months  to  compass  and  careful  correlation  to  bring 
into  perspective,  here  are  exhibited  within  the  rambling 
of  a  day.  The  Muir  Woods  is  an  entity.  Its  meadow 
borders,  its  dark  ravines,  its  valley  floor,  its  slopes  and 
hilltops,  all  show  fullest  luxuriance  and  perfect  pro 
portion.  The  struggle  of  the  greater  trees  to  climb  the 
hills  is  exemplified  as  fully  as  in  the  great  exhibits 
of  the  north,  which  spread  over  many  miles  of  hill 
slope;  here  one  may  see  its  range  in  half  an  hour. 

The  coloring,  too,  is  rich.  The  rusty  foliage  and 
bark,  the  brighter  green  of  the  shrubs,  the  brown  car 
pet,  the  opal  light,  stirs  the  spirit.  The  powerful  in 
dividuality  of  many  of  its  trees  is  the  source  of  never- 
ending  pleasure.  There  is  a  redwood  upon  the  West 
Fork  which  has  no  living  base,  but  feeds,  vampire- 


like,  through  another's  veins;  or,  if  you  prefer  the 
figure  of  family  dependence  so  strikingly  exemplified 
in  these  woods,  has  been  rescued  from  destruction  by 
a  brother.  The  base  of  this  tree  has  been  completely 
girdled  by  fire.  Impossible  to  draw  subsistence  from 
below,  it  stands  up  from  a  burned,  naked,  slender 
foundation.  But  another  tree  fell  against  it  twenty- 
five  or  thirty  feet  above  the  ground,  in  some  far  past 
storm,  and  lost  its  top;  this  tree  pours  its  sap  into  the 
veins  of  the  other  to  support  its  noble  top.  The  twin 
cripples  have  become  a  single  healthy  tree. 

One  of  the  most  striking  exhibits  of  the  Muir 
Woods  is  its  tangle  of  California  laurel.  Even  in  its 
deepest  recesses,  the  bays,  as  they  are  commonly 
called,  reach  great  size.  They  sprawl  in  all  directions, 
bend  at  sharp  angles,  make  great  loops  to  enter  the 
soil  and  root  again;  sometimes  they  cross  each  other 
and  join  their  trunks;  in  one  instance,  at  least,  a  large 
crownless  trunk  has  bent  and  entered  head  first  the 
stem  of  still  a  larger  tree. 

There  are  greater  stands  of  virgin  redwoods  in 
the  northern  wilderness  of  California  which  the  ruth 
less  lumberman  has  not  yet  reached  but  is  approaching 
fast;  these  are  inland  stands  of  giants,  crowded  like 
battalions.  But  there  is  no  other  Muir  Woods,  with 
its  miniature  perfection. 


Southeast  of  craggy  Lyell,  mountain  climax  and 
eastern  outpost  of  the  Yosemite  National  Park,  the 


Muir  Trail  follows  the  extravagantly  beautiful  begin 
nings  of  the  Middle  Fork  of  the  San  Joaquin  River 
through  a  region  of  myriad  waters  and  snow-flecked 
mountains.  Banner  Peak,  Ritter  Mountain,  Thou 
sand  Island  Lake,  Volcanic  Ridge,  Shadow  Lake — 
national  park  scenery  in  its  noblest  expression,  but  not 
yet  national  park. 

A  score  of  miles  from  Ly ell,  the  trail  follows  the 
river  into  a  volcanic  bottom  from  whose  forest  rises  the 
splendid  group  of  pentagonal  basaltic  columns  which 
was  made  a  national  monument  in  1911  under  the  title 
of  the  Devil's  Postpile.  Those  who  know  the  famous 
Giant's  Causeway  of  the  Irish  coast  will  know  it  in 
kind,  but  not  in  beauty. 

The  enormous  uplift  which  created  the  Sierra  was 
accompanied  on  both  its  slopes  by  extensive  volcanic 
eruptions,  the  remains  of  which  are  frequently  visible 
to  the  traveller.  The  huge  basaltic  crystals  of  the 
Devil's  Postpile  were  a  product  of  this  volcanic  out 
pouring;  they  formed  deep  within  the  hot  masses 
which  poured  over  the  region  for  miles  around.  Their 
upper  ends  have  become  exposed  by  the  erosion  of  the 
ages  by  which  the  cinder  soil  and  softer  rock  around 
them  have  been  worn  away. 

The  trail  traveller  comes  suddenly  upon  this 
splendid  group.  It  is  elevated,  as  if  it  were  the  front 
of  a  small  ridge,  its  posts  standing  on  end,  side  by 
side,  in  close  formation.  Below  it,  covering  the  front 
of  the  ridge  down  to  the  line  of  the  trail,  is  an  enor 
mous  talus  mass  of  broken  pieces.  The  appropriate- 


ness  of  the  name  strikes  one  at  the  first  glance.  This 
is  really  a  postpile,  every  post  carefully  hewn  to  pat 
tern,  all  of  nearly  equal  length.  The  talus  heap  be 
low  suggests  that  his  Satanic  Majesty  was  utilizing  it 
also  as  a  woodpile,  and  had  sawn  many  of  the  posts 
into  lengths  to  fit  the  furnaces  which  we  have  been 
taught  that  he  keeps  hot  for  the  wicked. 

Certainly  it  is  a  beautiful,  interesting,  and  even 
an  imposing  spectacle.  One  also  thinks  of  it  as  a 
gigantic  organ,  whose  many  hundred  pipes  rise  many 
feet  in  air.  Its  lofty  position,  seen  from  the  view 
point  of  the  trail,  is  one  of  dignity;  it  overlooks  the 
pines  and  firs  surrounding  the  clearing  in  which  the 
observer  stands.  The  trees  on  the  higher  level  scarcely 
overtop  it;  in  part,  it  is  outlined  against  the  sky. 

"The  Devil's  Postpile/7  writes  Professor  Joseph 
N.  LeConte,  Muir's  successor  as  the  prophet  of  the 
Sierra,  "is  a  wonderful  cliff  of  columnar  basalt,  facing 
the  river.  The  columns  are  quite  perfect  prisms, 
nearly  vertical  and  fitted  together  like  the  cells  of  a 
honeycomb.  Most  of  the  prisms  are  pentagonal, 
though  some  are  of  four  or  six  sides.  The  standing 
columns  are  about  two  feet  in  diameter  and  forty  feet 
high.  At  the  base  of  the  cliff  is  an  enormous  basalt 
structure,  but,  wherever  the  bed-rock  is  exposed  be 
neath  the  pumice  covering,  the  same  formation  can 
be  seen." 

An  error  in  the  proclamation  papers  made  the 
official  title  of  this  monument  the  Devil  Postpile,  and 
thus  it  must  legally  appear  in  all  official  documents. 


The  reservation  also  includes  the  Rainbow  Fall 
of  the  San  Juan  River,  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
waterfalls  of  the  sub-Sierra  region,  besides  soda  springs 
and  hot  springs.  This  entire  reservation  was  orig 
inally  included  in  the  Yosemite  National  Park,  but 
was  cut  out  by  an  unappreciative  committee  appointed 
to  revise  boundaries.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  Congress 
will  soon  restore  it  to  its  rightful  status. 


A  structure  similar  in  nature  to  the  Devil's  Post- 
pile,  but  vastly  greater  in  size  and  sensational  quality, 
forms  one  of  the  most  striking  natural  spectacles  east 
of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  The  Devil's  Tower  is  unique. 
It  rises  with  extreme  abruptness  from  the  rough 
Wyoming  levels  just  west  of  the  Black  Hills.  It  is 
on  the  banks  of  the  Belle  Fourche  River,  which  later, 
encircling  the  Black  Hills  around  the  north,  finds  its 
way  into  the  Big  Cheyenne  and  the  Missouri. 

This  extraordinary  tower  emerges  from  a  rounded 
forested  hill  of  sedimentary  rock  which  rises  six  hun 
dred  feet  above  the  plain;  from  the  top  of  that  the  tower 
rises  six  hundred  feet  still  higher.  It  is  visible  for  a 
hundred  miles  or  more  in  every  direction.  Before  the 
coming  of  the  white  man  it  was  the  landmark  of  the 
Indians.  Later  it  served  a  useful  purpose  in  guiding 
the  early  explorers. 

To-day  it  is  the  point  which  draws  the  eye  for  many 
miles.  The  visitor  approaching  by  automobile  sees  it 
hours  away,  and  its  growth  upon  the  horizon  as  he 


approaches  is  not  his  least  memorable  experience. 
It  has  the  effect  at  a  distance  of  an  enormous  up- 
pointing  finger  which  has  been  amputated  just  below 
the  middle  joint.  When  near  enough  to  enable  one 
to  distinguish  the  upright  flutings  formed  by  its 
closely  joined  pentagonal  basaltic  prisms,  the  illusion 
vanishes.  These,  bending  inward  from  a  flaring  base, 
straighten  and  become  nearly  perpendicular  as  they 
rise.  Now,  one  may  fancy  it  the  stump  of  a  tree  more 
than  a  hundred  feet  in  diameter  whose  top  imagination 
sees  piercing  the  low  clouds.  But  close  by,  all  similes 
become  futile;  then  the  Devil's  Tower  can  be  likened 
to  nothing  but  itself. 

This  column  is  the  core  of  a  volcanic  formation 
which  doubtless  once  had  a  considerably  larger  circum 
ference.  At  its  base  lies  an  immense  talus  of  broken 
columns  which  the  loosening  frosts  and  the  winter 
gales  are  constantly  increasing;  the  process  has  been 
going  on  for  untold  thousands  of  years,  during  which 
the  softer  rock  of  the  surrounding  plains  has  been  eroded 
to  its  present  level. 

One  may  climb  the  hill  and  the  talus.  The  column 
itself  cannot  be  climbed  except  by  means  of  special 
apparatus.  Its  top  is  nearly  flat  and  elliptical,  with 
a  diameter  varying  from  sixty  to  a  hundred  feet. 


Forty  miles  as  the  crow  flies  east  of  Monterey, 
California,  in  a  spur  of  the  low  Coast  Range,  is  a 
region  which  erosion  has  carved  into  many  fantastic 


shapes.  Because  of  its  crowded  pointed  rocks,  it  has 
been  set  apart  under  the  title  of  the  Pinnacles  National 
Monument.  For  more  than  a  century  and  a  quarter 
it  was  known  as  Vancouver's  Pinnacles  because  the 
great  explorer  visited  it  while  his  ships  lay  at  anchor 
in  Monterey  Bay,  and  afterward  described  it  in  his 
"Voyages  and  Discoveries."  It  is  unfortunate  that 
the  historical  allusion  was  lost  when  it  became  a 
national  reservation. 

Two  deep  gorges,  bordered  by  fantastic  walls 
six  hundred  to  a  thousand  feet  high,  and  a  broad  semi 
circular,  flower-grown  amphitheatre,  constitute  the 
central  feature.  Deep  and  narrow  tributary  gorges 
furnish  many  of  the  curious  and  intricate  forms  which 
for  many  years  have  made  the  spot  popular  among 
sightseers.  Rock  masses  have  fallen  upon  the  side 
walls  of  several  of  these  lesser  gorges,  converting  them 
into  picturesque  winding  tunnels  and  changing  deep 
alcoves  into  caves  which  require  candles  to  see. 

It  is  a  region  of  very  unusual  interest  and  charm. 


On  the  way  to  the  Yellowstone  National  Park  by 
way  of  the  Wyoming  entrance  at  Cody,  and  three 
miles  east  of  the  great  Shoshone  Dam,  a  limestone  cave 
has  been  set  apart  under  the  title  of  the  Shoshone 
Cavern  National  Monument.  The  way  in  is  rough 
and  precipitous  and,  after  entering  the  cave,  a  descent 
by  rope  is  necessary  to  reach  the  chambers  of  unusual 
beauty.  One  may  then  journey  for  more  than  a  mile 


through  galleries  some  of  which  are  heavily  incrusted 
with  crystals. 


Approaching  the  crest  of  the  Rockies  on  the 
Northern  Pacific  Railroad,  the  Lewis  and  Clark  Cav 
ern  is  passed  fifty  miles  before  reaching  Butte.  Its 
entrance  is  perched  thirteen  hundred  feet  above  the 
broad  valley  of  the  Jefferson  River,  which  the  cele 
brated  explorers  followed  on  their  westward  journey; 
it  overlooks  fifty  miles  of  their  course. 

The  cavern,  which  has  the  usual  characteristics 
of  a  limestone  cave,  slopes  sharply  back  from  its  main 
entrance,  following  the  dip  of  the  strata.  Some  of  its 
vaults  are  decorated  in  great  splendor.  The  depreda 
tions  of  vandals  were  so  damaging  that  in  1916  its 
entrance  was  closed  by  an  iron  gate. 

This  cavern  is  the  only  memorial  of  the  Lewis  and 
Clark  expedition  in  the  national  parks  system;  there 
is  no  record  that  the  explorers  entered  it  or  knew  of 
its  existence. 

Two  hundred  and  thirty  miles  east  of  the  Cavern, 
Clark  inscribed  his  name  and  the  date,  July  25,  1806, 
upon  the  face  of  a  prominent  butte  known  as  Pompey's 
Pillar.  This  would  have  been  a  far  more  appropriate 
monument  to  the  most  important  of  American  explora 
tions  than  the  limestone  cave.  In  fact,  the  Department 
of  the  Interior  once  attempted  to  have  it  proclaimed  a 
national  monument;  the  fact  that  it  lay  within  an 
Indian  allotment  prevented.  The  entire  course  of 


this  great  expedition  should  be  marked  at  significant 
points  by  appropriate  national  monuments. 


In  the  southwestern  corner  of  South  Dakota,  on 
the  outskirts  of  the  Black  Hills,  is  one  of  the  most  in 
teresting  limestone  caverns  of  the  country.  It  was 
named  Wind  Cave  because,  with  the  changes  of  tem 
perature  during  the  day,  strong  currents  of  wind  blow 
alternately  into  and  out  of  its  mouth.  It  has  many 
long  passages  and  fine  chambers  gorgeously  decorated. 
It  is  a  popular  resort. 

The  United  States  Biological  Survey  maintains  a 


Northwest  of  Wind  Cave,  thirteen  miles  west  and 
south  of  Custer,  South  Dakota  boasts  another  lime 
stone  cavern  of  peculiar  beauty,  through  whose  en 
trance  also  the  wind  plays  pranks.  It  is  called  Jewel 
Cave  because  many  of  its  crystals  are  tinted  in  various 
colors,  often  very  brilliantly.  Under  torchlight  the 
effect  is  remarkable. 

Connecting  chambers  have  been  explored  for  more 
than  three  miles,  and  there  is  much  of  it  yet  unknown. 


In  the  far  southwestern  corner  of  Oregon,  about 
thirty  miles  south  of  Grant's  Pass,  upon  slopes  of  coast 
mountains  and  at  an  altitude  of  four  thousand  feet,  is 


a  group  of  large  limestone  caves  which  have  been  set 
apart  by  presidential  proclamation  under  the  title  of 
the  Oregon  Caves  National  Monument.  Locally  they 
are  better  known  as  the  Marble  Halls  of  Oregon. 

There  are  two  entrances  at  different  levels,  the 
passages  and  chambers  following  the  dip  of  the  strata. 
A  considerable  stream,  the  outlet  of  the  waters  which 
dissolved  these  caves  in  the  solid  limestone,  passes 
through.  The  wall  decorations,  and,  in  some  of  the 
chambers,  the  stalagmites  and  stalactites,  are  exceed 
ingly  fine.  The  vaults  and  passages  are  unusually 
large.  There  is  one  chamber  twenty-five  feet  across 
whose  ceiling  is  believed  to  be  two  hundred  feet  high. 


For  sixty  miles  or  more  east  and  west  across  the 
Olympian  Peninsula,  which  is  the  forested  north 
western  corner  of  Washington  and  the  United  States 
between  Puget  Sound  and  the  Pacific  Ocean,  stretch 
the  Olympian  Mountains.  The  country  is  a  rugged 
wilderness  of  tumbled  ranges,  grown  with  magnificent 
forests  above  which  rise  snowy  and  glaciered  sum 
mits.  Its  climax  is  Mount  Olympus,  eight  thousand 
one  hundred  feet  in  altitude,  rising  about  twenty-five 
miles  equidistant  from  the  Strait  of  Juan  de  Fuca 
upon  the  north  and  the  Pacific  Ocean  upon  the  west. 

The  entire  peninsula  is  extremely  wild.  It  is 
skirted  by  a  road  along  its  eastern  and  part  of  its 
northern  edges,  connecting  the  water-front  towns. 
Access  to  the  mountain  is  by  arduous  trail.  The  reser- 


vation  contains  nine  hundred  and  fifty  square  miles. 
Although  possessing  unusual  scenic  beauty,  it  was  re 
served  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the  Olympic  elk, 
a  species  peculiar  to  the  region.  Deer  and  other  wild 
animals  also  are  abundant. 


High  under  the  Continental  Divide  in  south 
western  Colorado  near  Creede,  a  valley  of  high  alti 
tude,  grotesquely  eroded  in  tufa,  rhyolite,  and  other 
volcanic  rock,  is  named  the  Wheeler  National  Monu 
ment  in  honor  of  Captain  George  Montague  Wheeler, 
who  conducted  geographical  explorations  between  1869 
and  1879.  Its  deep  canyons  are  bordered  by  lofty 
pinnacles  of  rock.  It  is  believed  that  General  John 
C.  Fremont  here  met  the  disaster  which  drove  back 
his  exploring-party  of  1848,  fragments  of  harness  and 
camp  equipment  and  skeletons  of  mules  having  been 


The  first  exploration  of  the  northern  United  States 
east  of  the  Rocky  Mountains  is  commemorated  by 
the  Verendrye  National  Monument  at  the  Old  Crossing 
of  the  Missouri  River  in  North  Dakota.  Here  rises 
Crowhigh  Butte,  on  the  Fort  Berthold  Indian  Reser 
vation,  an  eminence  commanding  a  wide  view  in  every 

Verendrye,  the  celebrated  French  explorer,  started 
from  the  north  shore  of  Lake  Superior  about  1740  and 


passed  westward  and  southward  into  the  regions  of 
the  great  plains.  He  or  his  sons,  for  the  records  of 
their  journeys  are  confusing,  passed  westward  into 
Montana  along  a  course  which  Lewis  and  Clark  paral 
leled  in  1806,  swung  southward  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Fort  Ben  ton,  and  skirted  the  Rockies  nearly  to  the 
middle  of  Wyoming,  passing  within  a  couple  of  hundred 
miles  of  the  Yellowstone  National  Park. 

Crowhigh  Butte  is  supposed  to  have  given  the 
Verendryes  their  first  extensive  view  of  the  upper 
Missouri.  The  butte  was  long  a  landmark  to  guide 
early  settlers  to  Old  Crossing. 


Congress  created  the  Sully 's  Hill  National  Park 
in  North  Dakota  in  1904  in  response  to  a  local  de 
mand.  Its  hills  and  meadows  constitute  a  museum  of 
practically  the  entire  flora  of  the  State.  The  United 
States  Biological  Survey  maintains  there  a  wild-an 
imal  preserve  for  elk,  bison,  antelope,  and  other  animals 
representative  of  the  northern  plains. 


On  Baranoff  Island,  upon  the  southeastern  shore 
of  Alaska,  is  a  reservation  known  as  the  Sitka  National 
Monument  which  commemorates  an  important  epi 
sode  in  the  early  history  of  Alaska.  On  this  tract, 
which  lies  within  a  mile  of  the  steamboat-landing  at 
Sitka,  formerly  stood  the  village  of  the  Kik-Siti  In 
dians  who,  in  1802,  attacked  the  settlement  of  Sitka 


and  massacred  the  Russians  who  had  established  it. 
Two  years  later  the  Russians  under  Baranoff  recovered 
the  settlement  from  the  Indians,  contrary  to  the  active 
opposition  of  Great  Britain,  and  established  the  title 
which  they  afterward  transferred  to  the  United  States. 
Graves  of  some  of  those  who  fell  in  the  later  battle 
may  be  seen. 

The  reservation  is  also  a  fine  exhibit  of  the  forest 
and  flora  of  the  Alexander  Archipelago.  Sixteen  totem- 
poles  remain  from  the  old  native  days. 


Remains  of  the  rapidly  passing  native  life  of  the 
Alexander  Archipelago  on  the  southeast  coast  of  Alaska 
are  conserved  in  the  Old  Kasaan  National  Monument 
on  the  east  shore  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island.  The  vil 
lage  of  Old  Kasaan,  occupied  for  many  years  by  the 
Hydah  tribe  and  abandoned  a  decade  or  more  ago, 
contains  several  community  houses  of  split  timber, 
each  of  which  consists  of  a  single  room  with  a  common 
fireplace  in  the  middle  under  a  smoke-hole  in  the  centre 
of  the  roof.  Cedar  sleeping-booths,  each  the  size  of  an 
ordinary  piano-box,  are  built  around  the  wall. 

The  monument  also  possesses  fifty  totem-poles, 
carved  and  richly  colored. 

Of  the  thirty-six  national  monuments,  twenty- 
four  are  administered  by  the  National  Parks  Service, 
ten  by  the  Department  of  Agriculture,  and  two .  by 
the  War  Department.  Congress  made  the  assign- 


ments  to  the  Department  of  Agriculture  on  the  theory 
that,  as  these  monuments  occurred  in  forests,  they  could 
be  more  cheaply  administered  by  the  Forest  Service; 
but,  as  many  of  the  other  monuments  and  nearly  all 
the  national  parks  also  occur  in  forests,  the  logic  is 
not  apparent,  and  these  monuments  suffer  from  dis- 
association  with  the  impetus  and  machinery  of  the 
National  Park  Service. 

The  Big  Hole  Battlefield  National  Monument, 
about  fifty-five  miles  southwest  of  Butte,  Montana, 
was  assigned  to  the  War  Department  because  a  battle 
took  place  there  in  1877  between  a  small  force  of 
United  States  troops  and  a  large  force  of  Indians. 

/'fbprottiy Lake 
'/      ^_.fy*nt«jrMtn 

N       /\ 


^Baid  Crater 



Timber  Crater 


^  Oas/3  Spr 
^Oasis  Suite 




Boundary  Line 
—  —  "^Boundary  Line 
of  proposed 


The  proposed  Jackson  Hole  addition  is  enclosed  by  a  broken  line  south  of  boundary 




TO  SALT  LAKE  crry^ 



w  SALT  LAKE  c/rr 

2 16  MILES 

iCITY  254  MILK 

D  Gaso/ine  and  o/'/s  can  be  ob 
tained  af  fowns  marked  thus. 



63  MILES 



TO—  ^      202  Main  Library 








Renewals  and  Recharges  may  be  made  4  days  prior  to  the  due  date. 

Books  may  be  Renewed  by  calling     642-3405. 




AUG  1  2  1986 

FORM  NO.  DD6, 

BERKELEY,  CA  94720 


LD  21-100m-12,'43  (8796s)